For years the Guadalhorce valley regional hospital has been a chimera for the health system in Malaga province. For many people, the fact that this brand new facility had no surgical facilities when it opened reduced this 30-million-euro investment to nothing more than a large health centre.
Now, after a lengthy and complex legal process in which a special plan had to be completely modified, and serious differences of opinion between different administrations, the first two operating theatres and some of the beds in the surgical ward are finally open, putting an end to a long period of waiting and a time which was marked by difficulties and delays.
On Monday the Junta de Andalucía issued a statement to announce that the new facilities were now operative, and its acting delegate for Equality, Health and Social Policies, Ana Isabel González, took a tour of the new facilities in the company of the managing director of the hospital, José Antonio Medina, nursing director Mari Paz Piña, the director of the Anaesthesiology and Recovery unit, José Cruz, and nursing coordinator of the Surgical Block, Cristina Narbona.
Ana Isabel González explained to the press that the aim is to open the facilities bit by bit, and that there will eventually be four operating theatres. The two which opened this week are for scheduled operations of different types where patients only need to stay in hospital for a short time afterwards. She also explained that these two operating theatres will be used for general and dermatological surgery, and the others will open within the next few months.
José Cruz, the director of the Anaesthesiology and Recovery Unit at the Virgen de la Victoria hospital, said that "the opening of this new department is a major advance in terms of accessibility for patients and it will improve the response to medical needs in the surgical field, for common procedures which are not difficult to carry out".
Open for two years
The managing director of the hospital, José Antonio Medina, said that the new operating theatres "will mean that a series of surgical procedures can be carried out on a day-to-day basis, and this will improve the standards of quality and accessibility for all the users in the area".
The Guadalhorce valley hospital has been open for two years, attending to a population of over 100,000 from the 13 towns and villages in the area. It cost 30.6 million euros to open the new centre, including the construction and equipment and the Malaga provincial government then provided extra funds for the access and the electricity connection.