Ministers at the Junta de Andalucía regional government this week approved the payment of 12 million euros that will allow the project to expand the Costa del Sol hospital in Marbella to resume. These funds will allow the Costa del Sol Health Agency to terminate the contract with the concession holder, giving free rein to the Andalusian government to resume the works.
This brings an end to a nine-year standstill, which began when the contractors, Concesionaria Costa del Sol SA, decided to halt works after a disagreement with Marbella town hall. This dispute was over the underground car park. The Junta had decided, as part of the financing of the project, to allow the company to take over its operation for a period of 40 years. Marbella town hall, however, disagreed with charging users to park every time they came to the hospital and denied permissions to install barriers.
From that moment on, the works were halted and the matter became held up in the courts. In August 2014 an agreement was announced obliging the three parties (the health agency, Marbella town hall and the concession holder) to withdraw the lawsuits filed in court, but no agreement could be reached between the Junta and the concession holder on the amount it should receive for profits lost from the car park.
In November last year, with the PSOE still running the Junta, it was announced that the concession could be annulled with the payment of 12 million euros, a figure set by the mercantile court in Malaga. However, it wasn't until after the election that this was approved.
The works, which have been at a standstill since 2010, began two years previously with a budget of 48.5 million euros. But due to the time that has elapsed, a new project, which will add a total of 88,000 square metres, will need to be drawn up.
The new managing director of the Costa del Sol Health Agency, Luisa Lorenzo, acknowledged last week in an interview granted to SUR that the hospital is at the limit of its capacity and that it is a priority to resume the expansion.