RESIDENTS of Pilar de la Horadada may get a much shorter hospital trip compared to a 22 kilometre road journey to Torrevieja Hospital.

Pilar mayor Jose Maria Perez wants local people to get access to use the Los Arcos del Mar Menor Hospital if they want to.

The San Javier facility is just seven kilometres on the other side of the Valencian-Murcian border.

Residents would also avoid significant delays on the N-332 travelling to Torrevieja during the summer.

Maria Perez recently met with the Murcia Health Service chief, Francisco Ponce, but any final decision would be taken by Valencian health authorities, who have not responded to the mayor’s request for talks.

Pilar’s health councillor, Nieves Moreno, said the Los Arcos idea was nothing to do with the barrage of complaints about Torrevieja Hospital ever since it returned to public management in October 2021.

“It is a matter of distance and not quality as some media have been suggesting,” Moreno commented.

She added that Pilar council had lobbied for the change for over two years, and that the new head of Torrevieja’s health department as well as his Murcia Health Service counterpart were supportive.

Moreno added that the ‘ball is now in Valencia’s court’ and observed that a similar arrangement is in place in the border area between the Valencian Community and Albacete Province.

Pilar has around 25,000 residents- 3,000 of which are already registered to use the Los Arcos Hospital by registering at addresses in San Pedro del Pinatar and San Javier.

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