THE management of the Marina Alta health department in Alicante Province will pass from private to public hands on January 31, 2024.
Valencian health minister, Miguel Minguez, told the Valencian parliament on Thursday that he will give private operator, Ribera Salud, the required one-year deadline for the end of their contract next week on January 31.
Ribera, who operate as Marina Salud in the Denia area, ran health services in Torrevieja until they were axed in October 2021, with major problems subsequently affecting the city’s hospital and associated health centres.
There are fears that Denia’s Marina Alta Hospital may face similar issues like poor staffing from February 2024.
Miguel Minguez on Thursday was responding to a question from a Compromis deputy, Josep Nadal, as to why Ribera Salud had not been officially informed earlier, especially as parliamentarians had voted for that happen last summer,
Josep Nadal said: “The aim of starting the handover earlier was to prevent the disaster that happened before motivated by chaos caused by Ribera, which cleared down computer systems in Torrevieja causing suffering to citizens and staff,” said Nadal.
Ribera Salud denied anything like that happened in Torrevieja but vital computer networks did not work during the management changeover.
Large departures of hospital staff before the Ribera contract ended also added to problems in Torrevieja.
Unions however blamed poor public management for hitting staff morale and numbers as well as reducing patient services.
Despite the Marina Alta countdown beginning next week, May’s regional elections might see the ruling ‘Botanic’ coalition ousted from power in Valencia, and the current main opposition, the Partido Popular, possibly halting the management change.
Meanwhile thousands of professionally produced magazines have appeared in the Torrevieja area blaming health service problems on Valencian president, Ximo Puig and the public takeover of local health department management.
It’s not known who produced the brochure but it is clearly trying to make health a big issue for Torrevieja voters come May’s regional and municipal elections.