Eight years after work on the Costa del Sol hospital extension came to a standstill and a long court dispute commenced, the Junta de Andalucía has announced that is to make public funds available to finish the project.
It was in 2010 when the firm with the contract to build the extension stopped work after not obtaining municipal permission to build a car park.
The contractor, a subsidiary of Seville firm Abengoa, then took the authorities to court for loss in projected profits as it was through the running of the underground parking facility that it planned to finance the work.
The Junta in turn started legal proceedings against the builders, who meanwhile filed for bankruptcy and went into administration.
Now the regional government, at its last cabinet meeting before this Sunday's elections, has given the green light to releasing a sum of 12 million euros to terminate the original contract and compensate the construction firm. The sum, according to the Junta, corresponds to the value of the completed work, as stated in the conditions of the original contract.
Having severed all its ties with the original contractors, the Junta will then be free to put a new contract to complete the work out to tender.
The original project was due to increase the size of the hospital by 70 per cent, giving it an extra 3,100 square metres for outpatient surgeries, 1,380 square metres for inpatient wards and an extra 888 square metres for operating theatres.
Now new plans will have to be drawn up. The deputy minister for Health at the Junta, María Isabel Baena, in Marbella on Wednesday, said that the new plans, expected to cost a million euros to draw up, would take into account the existing premises and the current needs of the hospital.
"Not only are the old plans, obsolete, but medicine advances at a rate of knots and the challenges this hospital has ahead of it mean that we have to revise the extension plan so that we can take a qualitative and quantitative step forward. We are going to bring in new services," said Baena.
The deputy minister did not want to offer a start date for the work, given the administrative process ahead, however she did estimate that the project will cost the Junta de Andalucía around 40 million euros.
The entire scheme was expected to cost some 48.5 million euros, of which around half was spent.