COMING SOON: The Hospital de Estepona will be open by the end of the year

THE Government has set a completion date for the new Estepona Hospital.

The Hospital de Estepona will be open by the end of the year, the Junta de Andalucia has said.

Originally the Costa del Sol’s latest medical centre had been set to open its doors in December.

However, there were not enough staff and the hospital was not properly equipped.

PROUD: Bendodo (left), Urbano (centre) and Terol (right)

As the announcement was made the Junta’s Counselor of the Presidency, Public Administration and Interior, Elias Bendodo took a swipe at the previous left wing PSOE Government of Andalucia.

He said that Estepona Mayor Jose Maria Garcia Urbano (PP) had ‘made the right decision’ to open the hospital, despite not getting the green light from the Susana Diaz administration, which was booted out of the region in the December 2 elections.

Vice secretary of Territorial Policy of the PP, Antonio Gonzalez Terol was among the other politicians to back the move and was full of praise for Urbano.

He said that other mayors will ‘copy the good initiatives that Jose Maria has launched, such as pedestrianization, improvement of green areas, sports facilities and beaches’.

SHOCKING: Little Zara Clarkson, who was sucked into a swimming pool pump, could have been treated at the Estepona Hospital had it been open, but instead had to travel to the Hospital Costa del Sol

However his words come just weeks after Urbano faced embarrassment as his vanity project, the longest slide in Spain, was permanently dismantled following numerous injuries.

Work on the hospital had stopped in December after a Junta investment of €15 million.

In January, the hospital was found to be not ready and a further €1.2 million was pumped into the project.

It comes after numerous criticism from locals and expats that Marbella’s Hospital Costa del Sol is the nearest large medical centre to many on the coast.

The most recent example is that of six-year-old Zara Clarkson who was sucked into an Estepona swimming pool pump.

The family villa where the shocking accident took place sits just 500 yards above the new site of the Hospital de Estepona, where she could have been treated had it been open.

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