Nearly two and a half years after the partial opening of the Guadalhorce valley hospital, two of its four operating theatres and some of its beds were finally opened this week.
This hospital is greatly needed to take the pressure of the Clínico in Malaga. It opened eight years later than scheduled, sloppily and incomplete. Somebody (many people, actually) didn't do their job properly and the hospital didn't have enough electrical power for the operating theatres and some other departments. Now it does, but it is still not performing 100 per cent, because nobody knows when the wards for non-surgical patients will open. What's more, nobody even dares to hazard a date, especially in the situation at the Andalusian Health Service now, after the recent regional elections.
But, you know, there was more than enough time to have sorted out all these obstacles. The Guadalhorce Hospital opened late, and not properly. And when a tree is born twisted, it is hard to straighten it out. What starts badly, ends badly. This hospital, which is a branch of the Clínico in Malaga, needs more staff, but what cannot happen is that people are taken away from one place to work in another. In other words, there would be no point whatsoever in moving professionals from the Clínico Universitario to the Guadalhorce. That is not a solution. It will create problems, not resolve them.
If they don't employ more staff for the Guadalhorce hospital, they won't be able to open the wards. Those who take over the reins at the regional government's Ministry of Health and the Andalusian Health Service, if there is a change in government as it looks as if there will be, have a great deal of work ahead of them.
Among the things which cannot be put off are the need to give the Guadalhorce Valley hospital with enough staff to provide a quality service. Without professionals, the health service cannot function. Asking people to give more and receive less is not viable.
The people of the Guadalhorce Valley deserve a hospital which, once and for all, works efficiently and isn't remedied by patches. It is good news that half of the operating theatres are now open (16 patients underwent surgery there yesterday), but that is just one part of the huge amount which remains to be done.
Let's see if once and for all the Guadalhorce Hospital can start to fly, without having its wings clipped.