The new, town-hall-built hospital building outside Estepona has been handed over to the regional government's Health Service for fitting out and to make it operational.
Since Estepona town hall finished the construction of the new local facility in December 2018, the building has been empty waiting to be taken over by health authorities.
The president of the Junta de Andalucía regional government, Juanma Moreno, was in Estepona on Tuesday to officially be handed the keys, saying his ministers are " committed to" the new service.
Moreno said that the first outpatient appointments wound be, "if everything goes well", and the Covid pandemic allows for it, in less than six months and the centre will be fully operational next year.
The new local hospital is in the Santa María area, just west of Estepona town. It will serve some 100,000 people in the resort and surrounding area, as well as an extra 36,000 people who stay on the coast in the summer months.
Its operational plan allows for 85,000 outpatient appointments in 20 specialisms a year, as well as 91,000 emergency cases and 4,000 surgical operations. Day cases and the Casualty department will start first.
The Junta will spend a million euros kitting out the building. The site was financed by the town hall, which spent 16 million euros as part of an unorthodox deal with the regional Health Service in order to speed up its construction.