"We'll have the extension to our hospital facilities in the not-too-distant future. There'll be no need to wait 15 years more. It will be within the duration of this regional parliament."
This announcement was made by the provincial delegate for Health of the Junta de Andalucía, Carlos Bautista, who was explaining on a visit to the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella that work is still going on behind the scenes to recover the licence contract for operating the new extension. In particular, he said, the 12 million euros that has been released to be able to cancel the contract with the original company that was to build and operate the extension, is going through the last bureaucratic hurdles within the Junta. "When they give the OK, we'll pass this document to the management at the hospital and then to the regional government for approval.
Out to tender
Once this phase is over, Bautista went on to say, "The project completion will be put out to tender and we'll get back this important part of the hospital so it is up and running as soon as possible and there are more healthcare professionals and operating theatres working.
Bautista was talking to media with the new director of the Costa del Sol local health district, Luisa Lorenzo. He added that the president of the Junta, Juanma Moreno and the regional minister of health Jesús Aguirre were taking a personal interest in getting the hospital finished and open.
The regional health service still hopes to finish the extension, which has been paralysed for many years, with public money, rather than the original private financing model that stalled over a dispute over fee income planned for the new operators from a car park onsite and other disagreements.
Bautista also said that the plan was to integrate the whole Costa del Sol Hospital back into the health service and not run it as an arms-length company anymore.