The Junta de Andalucía is to fast-track the contract for the long-awaited works to complete the extension of the Costa del Sol hospital in Marbella.
In Estepona on Monday for the inauguration of the town’s new specialist hospital, regional president Juanma Moreno said that the tender for the expansion works would be processed as a matter of “urgency”.
“I’ve given instructions to break the deadlock affecting the extension of the Costa del Sol hospital for once and for all,” Moreno said.
The budget to complete the works, which have been at a standstill for the last ten years, will be 75 million euros. The sum will also go towards the total refurbishment of the existing part of the hospital which is operating at full capacity with a catchment area of almost half a million people.
This will include the redistribution of the outpatients clinics and the remodelling of the surgery blocks, as well as extending the range of services provided and increasing the number of beds and consulting rooms.
“We are going to take a hospital on the verge of collapse and turn it into a centre for the 21st century,” said Moreno, adding that the project is one that the town and its mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, has been demanding for many years.
“That’s why we believe that it is very important, once and for all, to take on this commitment for an area which has seen a clear growth in population, with a huge presence of foreign residents and a great tourism impact,” he said.
The Andalusian president said that once the extension works were completed, and thanks to the newly opened Estepona hospital, the quality of healthcare in the province of Malaga would leap forward “decades”, in a province with fewer beds per head of population in the region of Andalucía.
Mayor of Marbella Ángeles Muñoz welcomed the announcement “that we’ve been waiting for for years”.
She added that the project “which stopped during the previous PSOE government and never started again” should have been restarted much sooner to cover the entire population of Marbella.
The mayor said that the project going through the system as a matter of urgency means that some usual bureaucratic steps, which could mean delays of up to six months, would be avoided.
While Muñoz admitted that specific dates could not be given, she said she hoped that works could start in “a few months” and that the project would be complete “in the next two years”.
Works to extend the Costa del Sol hospital started in 2007. Three years later a conflict with the construction firm halted the works. The firm eventually went into administration.
The breaking of the deadlock began in 2018 when the Junta de Andalucía, then run by the Socialist PSOE, released 12 million euros to revoke the contract. This was paid when the PP had taken over the regional authority.