TORREVIEJA Hospital, which serves 180,000 people, returned to public management at midnight this Saturday morning.

The southern Costa Blanca facility had been managed privately since 2006 by contractor Ribera Salud.

The Valencian Health Ministry said that reverting management to public control would improve ‘efficiency’.

They also argue that money will be saved with an annual wage bill of €80 million for health staff compared to the €110 million per annum paid to Ribera for their contract.

Ribera Salud failed in a late bid on Friday to get an injunction from the Valencian Superior Court to delay the transfer of power, after previously losing five legal challenges before the same bench.

Ribera Salud and the Valencian government have been involved in a bitter battle since last year’s confirmation that the contractor’s Torrevieja franchise would not be renewed.

The firm a few days ago reported a computer hack at Torrevieja Hospital to the Guardia Civil which it claimed came from Valencian Health staff.

It also said that around 100 medical staff had left their posts in the days leading up to the change in management.

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