The full opening of the Guadalhorce hospital in Cártama has suffered further delays due to objections from landowners to the installation of the new electricity pylons.
While the hospital's outpatients unit has been up and running for well over a year, the opening of the operating theatres and hospitalisation wards is waiting for the new electricity supply. The aim was to have all the new pylons put up and the lines connected by the end of this month or the beginning of next. However, now with 85 per cent of the line complete, three owners have objected to the expropriation of part of their land for the pylons.
Meetings between the electricity company Endesa and two of the landowners, with the mediation of the town hall, have resulted in an agreement. The third case will be studied by the interested parties next week, but if no agreement is reached and the compulsory purchase has to be authorised by a court, the hospital's opening could be delayed even further.
The Plataforma Hospital de Guadalhorce, a pressure group set up before the hospital was built, has criticised the situation. "This hospital project never ceases to amaze us," said their president Miguel Esteban. "I think it's beaten the Guinness World Record for the number of problems to come up during building works." The group has called for the authorities to get round this new obstacle as soon as possible. "We can't end another year with the operating theatres closed," he said.