PLANS to expand a health centre serving 30,000 patients on the Orihuela Costa have been shelved in favour of seeking a site to build a second centre, but a politician claims that’s not going to happen.

The decision was taken by Orihuela’s Partido Popular-Vox council which overturned a proposal to extend the current facility at Aquamarina.

Health councillor, Irene Celdran, said the Valencian government recognised the need for a second centre but it should be located elsewhere.

The PSOE socialists ran the council until last May’s local elections and their former health councillor, Luis Quesada, told last Thursday’s plenary meeting that he had already made preparations with Valencia authorities to take over land at the Aquamarina site which was being used as a car park.

Celdran, responding to a PSOE motion to go forward with the expansion, said that it was not the right location and would cause car parking issues around the existing centre next summer.

She claimed the Aquamarina location is ‘too small’ and that ‘we all agree that it is necessary to expand the health service on the coast’.

Quesada fought back by saying that in the 14 months the PSOE ran Orihuela, he had three meetings with the Health Ministry and was told each time that the area did not meet the requirements to have a second health centre.

PP and Vox votes ensured the PSOE motion failed to carry.

In 2020, a piece of council land was offered by former PP mayor Emilio Bascuñana to health management company Ribera Salud to build a second centre at La Ciñuelica.

The proposal came at a time when Ribera were told by the previous Valencian government that their managerial contract for the Torrevieja Health Department, including the Orihuela Costa, would end in October 2021 and return to public management.

The health centre land offer was dependent on Ribera staying in charge and fell by the wayside as their contract was not renewed.

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