HOSPITAL waiting lists in Torrevieja will lengthen if local management returns to public ownership in October 2021, according to a claim from a local politician.

Carlos Mazon, president of the Alicante Provincial Council, has called for an urgent meeting with Valencia’s president Ximo Puig to explain why private contractor Ribera Salud will not have its franchise renewed.

Ribera Salud runs Torrevieja Hospital as well as serving 186,000 residents in the Torrevieja health department area. This includes managing all of the local health centres in the city and at places like the Orihuela Costa, Rojales, Los Montesinos, San Fulgencio and Guardamar.

Mazon has written to Puig saying that the removal of Ribera would be a ‘serious mistake’ and would be a backward step in the quality of healthcare provided to local residents.

He quoted figures from the Alzira health area in Valencia Province, which returned to public management in April 2018.

Statistics indicated longer waiting times for hospital operations and consultations coupled with increased spending.

Mazon said he wants direct talks with the Valencian leader to personally say why the current arrangements should stay in place.

Torrevieja health services have been managed by Ribera Salud since 2006 in a public-private partnership.

Valencia’s Health Minister, Ana Barcelo, last month reiterated her government’s policy of not renewing the franchise.

Under the law, Ribera Salud must be officially notified by this October that their contract will be terminated next year.

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