Antonio Ayala, director of the overcrowded Las Albarizas health centre in Marbella, described the plans for an extension to the emergency department as "spectacular". His comments came minutes before the announcement that a tender for the extension of the medical centre he directs was to be published.
The promise made by Mayor Ángeles Muñoz has also been received with praise by the head of the Costa del Sol Health District’s infrastructures and facilities department, María Morales, who stressed that "there was a need for space” as “the population has grown, but not the services".
The initiative, which has an initial budget of 840,000 euros from municipal funds, will involve the construction of a new 600 square metre emergency building next to the current one. The deadline for submitting bids, according to the mayor, was 25 October.
It is hoped that the contract will be signed before the end of the year and that, from that date, the work will be completed within six months. "It will mean a turnaround in the current healthcare situation," she said.
The new emergency services building will have five consultation rooms, two for respiratory patients, a nursing room, another for critical care and another for outpatients. The upper floor will be used for administrative tasks and for the use of the healthcare staff.
Ayala announced that when the work is completed “the ground floor of the existing building will be remodelled to enlarge the waiting room and reorganise the medical services”.
He went on to say, “We are going to have an emergency unit, with decent consulting rooms and admission. Ayala also stressed that the Ricardo Soriano health centre, currently under construction, will alleviate a large part of the health care burden. "It is what the people of Las Alberizas deserve,” he said.
At present, 50,000 people are registered at the centre, not including those from Ojén or Las Chapas. According to Muñoz, the new building will "multiply by three or four times" the emergency care in Las Albarizas. Morales explained that the new facility will have "state-of-the-art equipment" and there will be ultrasound scanners in each emergency consultation room. Morales also added, “All of this will be accompanied by an increase in the number of staff.”