21 Sep, 2022 @ 15:28
2 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: The Medical Director of Torrevieja’s troubled hospital has resigned 

U-turn by regional health bosses after Torrevieja Hospital staff voted for strike action on Spain's Costa Blanca

THE Medical Director of Torrevieja’s troubled public hospital has stepped down from his role in the middle of its worst crisis ever.

Dr Juan Carlos Toral will however stay on the staff.

According to sources consulted by the Olive Press, he was the right-hand man of Torrevieja’s Hospital director Pilar Santos and helped in the process of reverting it into a state hospital.

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Dr Juan Carlos Toral. Image screen picture Youtube.

For several years previously it had been in the public system, but run by a private management company.

It has faced a string of complaints – many of them from expats – about disgraceful care leading to serious complications and even death.

The Olive Press has investigated the hospital and managed to speak with former doctors who have resigned due to the pressure that they have to deal with everyday due to staff shortages .

Former Torrevieja Health councillor and now president of the association Affected by the reversion of Torrevieja’s hospital, Mamen Mateo, 70, said: “I am not surprised that he has resigned as the pressure is very high and the hospital is a mess.” 

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The Medical Director of Torrevieja’s troubled hospital has resigned. Image The Olive Press.

“I think that one of the reasons he resigned is because doctors were promised a pay rise if they did not take holidays in August, but they haven’t given it to them,” she added.

Doctors who were promised a bonus for working in August to cover staff shortages have now staged a demonstration because they never saw the extra- payment.

“The management of the hospital negotiated with doctors a bonus for working on their holidays, as no doctor in Spain wants to work at Torrevieja’s hospital,” claimed Mamen.

Ex-accountant and now representative of the workers at the hospital, Jorge Estevez Martinez claimed: “I knew he was going to resign, he was a very arrogant man who never did self-criticism.

“He did not want to open his eyes and see how bad the situation was,” he added.

Estevez revealed to the Olive Press that Dr Toral used to be very valued by the members of the staff.

But since he became the Medical Director, he did not listen to the complaints of patients or other doctors, claimed Estevez.

Mamen Mateo
Director of affected by the reversion of Torrevieja’s hospital. Image The Olive Press.

“We had a lot of hope for him, but his lack of self-criticism made us realise that he was not a good professional to have this position,” he added.

Jorge revealed that another reason that made this doctor resign from his management position is that he was not used to the bureaucracy of a state hospital.

“It can take months to get approval to buy a chair for the hospital due to bureaucracy and he did not know how to cope with it,” revealed Estevez.

With regards to the missing bonuses, he revealed that they would never get paid what was promised as a bonus cannot be given in state hospitals.

In the past, the private company that managed the hospital used to give bonuses to doctors who did not take holidays.

A spokesperson from Torrevieja’s hospital claimed: “Dr Toral has not resigned, he has decided to not be the Medical Director and he is now working as the chief of the oncology department of Torrevieja’s hospital”.


Jorge Hinojosa

Jorge Hinojosa Mena was born and bred in Madrid before moving to the UK to study. After an undergraduate degree in Manchester, he completed an MA in International Journalism at City. He has worked in radio and for Spain’s Efe news agency before joining the Olive Press in March 2022. Contact: [email protected]

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