The Andalusian public health service is to offer over 100 million euros to private healthcare providers in a bid to get down its waiting lists.
In addition, 75 million euros is being put aside in health-service-run hospitals to pay for the overtime of existing staff in order to clear the backlog. The moves are designed to reduce waiting times for surgery and exploratory operations and tests.
The publicly funded Servicio Andaluz de Salud (SAS) has proposed that local private hospitals take in some of its patients for operations or diagnostic testing. The Junta de Andalucía wants to speed up operations in case there is a second wave of Covid-19 in the autumn, forcing large numbers of cancellations again.
As well as calling on its usual private-sector partners, where there are long-term contracts, regional ministers have also contacted providers they aren't working with now to see what spare capacity they may be able to release. These will be paid on a per-patient basis, and not part of any open-ended deal.
In terms of extra shifts in the public hospitals, this policy started at the beginning of July and will continue, with staff asked to work more hours in a possible race against time.
"With the extraordinary work that our professionals do and with the collaboration of private healthcare, we want the waiting list to be below what it was before the coronavirus arose," stressed SAS sources.