Hospital de-privatisation – stepping back in time Altea

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April 14, 2018

I’ve been reading your articles about the ‘de-privatisation’ of the hospitals in Alzira (Costa Levante News) and the planned ‘de-privatisation’ of Dénia (Costa Blanca News), with plans to do likewise in Torrevieja.
Although I am all in favour of keeping public hospitals public (meaning free), I must voice my concern over this step taken by the powers that be in Valencia. I realise that the Socialist handbook requires to ensure public services stay that way but let’s not forget that it is only the ‘management’ of these hospital that is in private hands (DKV in Dénia), not the service itself that continues to be free for all legally-registered residents (I won’t even go into the abuse some expats who cannot be bothered to get proper healthcards in Spain and use their EHIC for everything).
For those of us who have been here in Spain long enough, we know what a disaster public management was in Alzira and La Pedrera in Dénia before these hospitals’ managements were privatised – and I believe the same can be said for Torrevieja/Orihuela area.
But if you want a living example of how badly run public hospitals can be, just take a look at our area’s one in Villajoyosa. It’s a pure disaster when it comes to organisation and there’s not even a translation service available (there is in Dénia, thanks to help groups at least). The waiting lists are ridiculous and patients’ care leaves a lot to be desired.
It was because of these backlogs that an operation I had to undergo at Villajoyosa was actually ‘transferred’ to Torrevieja. It was bliss in comparison. So organised, so modern and no prejudice when you request certain treatments either!
So you’ll understand that when I hear that ‘de-privatising’ Dénia and Torrevieja is on the books, I can only fear the worst. A huge 10-year leap back for public healthcare and certainly no extra funding to be made available from what I read in your paper regarding new budgets, etc (I understand they’re still fighting for the hospital to be enlarged).
Privatising the management of Torrevieja, Alzira and Dénia was probably the best things that ever happened to those hospitals and I honestly believe I am not the only one to think so. Reverting those hospitals to the state Villajoyosa is in would be an absolute shame for residents – and it’s our health and lives that are at stake.

John Hopkins

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