The patient led group, Plataforma por la Sanidad 100×100 Pública y de Calidad, has denounced the funding cuts to be implemented by the new PP-led government of Valencia, which, they say, will have a direct impact on the already struggling Torrevieja hospital, as well as medical centres in the surrounding area.
Planned investments in the Torrevieja health department has fallen, according to the platform, to one tenth of what was planned. The entity has indicated that this is a drastic reduction in the 2024 budget for works in the department of Torrevieja designed by the previous regional government led by the PSOE, who were also responsible for reversing the management of Torrevieja Hospital into public hands, and the disaster which has been lived out since.
Of the 17.3 million euro planned in the previous year’s budgets for 2023 and 2024, which included the expansion works of the Torrevieja hospital and the Guardamar and Orihuela-Costa Health Centres, only 1.84 million will be invested. Thus, in the Torrevieja hospital, the planned 11.1 million euro have been reduced to 1.1 and in Guardamar and the Orihuela Costa health centres the 6.3 million remain at 730,000 euro.
The platform considers these numbers a comparative grievance with those handled for the Orihuela health department, since “although it is violated, there is also a drastic reduction in the investments planned in the neighbouring department of Orihuela, of the 29.6 million euro that the regional Health Department will invest this year in the Vega Baja region 27.8 will be invested in the department of Orihuela, compared to 1.8 that will be invested in Torrevieja despite this being the most populated and aging department and with a recent reversal. That is to say, for every euro invested in Torrevieja, 16.4 will be invested in Orihuela,” they point out.
The citizen group insists that the Torrevieja hospital needs more beds, more operating rooms, more spaces for outpatient consultations, for the headquarters of the different medical specialties, even for issues as trivial as storage. These shortcomings have a direct and inevitable impact on users. Cases in the clinical phase are prioritised, to the detriment of prevention. Access to the health system is perpetuated, above all, for cases that are in principle non-urgent, both in primary and specialised care or on waiting lists for surgical interventions. The increase in population with the same infrastructure produces the funnel effect through the numerous and unavoidable triages in the different phases of the patients’ itinerary through the health system, which delays, blocks and slows down access and transit through the system of an important percentage of the users of the department.
The platform has registered a letter addressed to the Ministry of Health so that a sufficient item is included in the 2024 budgets to face the necessary expansion works of the Torrevieja hospital and the Department’s Health Centres. At the same time, it calls on the population to mobilise against the cuts and for the constitutional right to health of all citizens. In order not to have to regret tomorrow, we must act now.