Private hospitals on Spain’s Costa Blanca will move towards ‘returning to normal activities’ from today having been on hold amid Covid-19 pandemic

Lifeguards rescue FOUR including two 6-year-olds off Cala Mijo beach in Spain's Águilas. Image: Ines Porada/Shutterstock.com

Costa Blanca private hospitals in Alicante and Valencia have begun to resume normal activity having been on standby since State of Alarm was announced mid-March.

THE health facilities suspended all outpatient consultations, tests and non-urgent surgical activities in case the Ministry of Health required their services in the face of a massive contagion of Covid-19.

And they have remained on hold until today.

Now, after a month in which there have been practically no referrals from public departments, some private centres have resumed requests for appointments for specialist consultations, even beginning to schedule some.

This tentative move towards a ‘return to normal’ began after several ‘conference’ meetings between private health bosses and Ministry of Health.

The department has been in talks with representatives from IMED, Quiron Salud, Vithas, Casa Salud, HLA Group, Hospital Clínica Benidorm, Hospital Intermutual de Levante, the Instituto de Traumatologia de Unión de Mutuas, and yesterday, the Valencian Institute of Oncology (IVO).

Minister of Health Ana Barceló said last week the Valencian health system, both public and private, “was not suffering the pressure of previous days and that there were free beds in all departments.”

To enable the private care centres to return to normal activity, hospitals have created restricted areas for possible coronavirus patients and “intense measures of cleanliness and hygiene to avoid possible contagion.”

In addition, patients travelling to and from consultations and operations, will be given certificates to justify travel for medical reasons.

Yesterday, Alicante and Valencia recorded almost twice as many discharges as positive cases, with figures confirming 342 had recovered against 191 new infections.

With the drop, Barceló said it seems “prudent that private activity can gradually resume.”

Data shows that ICU departments in the Community are at 71.4 per cent occupancy with their “period of greatest stress having been been reduced.”

But Barceló warned: “We don’t know how Covid-19 is going to behave” in the coming weeks and “we are still prepared in case there is an upturn.”

Even with private hospitals and clinics resuming “normal activity” there are other options should extra resources be needed, for example, emergency field hospitals will stay open for the next few months.

And in fact, referrals to private health care facilities this month “have been minimal.”

According to the latest data offered by the Health Department, there are currently 225 patients referred to clinics and hospitals, both for coronavirus and for other pathologies.

 

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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