Ribera defends the “impeccable” work in Torrevieja and reiterates that not extending the extension obeys “ideological” criteria

Torrevieja Hospital

The managing director of the Department of Health of Torrevieja (Alicante), José David Zafrilla, has assured this Thursday that, after 15 years of management, the Ribera group leaves the area “at the forefront of health and as an international reference” and has insisted that the “unilateral” decision of the Conselleria de Sanidad not to extend the concession contract, which expires this Friday 15 October, is adopted “without taking into account any technical criteria and only based on ideology”.

The management of the centre describes the decision to change management as “unilateral” and assures that this reversion “will be made effective in breach of the Stability Law, according to the General Intervention of the Generalitat, for lack of economic reports on the cost of direct management and to justify the process of reversion”.

Zafrilla maintains that the health department has “the shortest surgical delays in the Valencian Community” since “patients wait less than in other public departments for an outpatient consultation” and that “it has more specialities and fewer referrals to other centres, more efficiency and exemplary management of the Covid crisis”, as the group reported in a statement.

The managing director of the department has taken stock of the 15 years of management of the health department and has highlighted the average surgical delay figure: “Torrevieja patients wait a month and a half less than the rest of public hospitals, according to official data for the month of September 2021.

Also, users of the health department of Torrevieja have 30 days on average to get a first consultation with a specialist doctor, “well below the average of the Valencian Community”. He also explained that, according to the report of the Audit Office, Torrevieja Health is 30% more efficient than other public hospitals in the Valencian Community, “which translates into savings of 45 million euros a year for the citizen’s pocket”.

“All these data show that the decision not to extend the administrative concession contract to the Ribera health group was taken by the Regional Ministry of Health without taking into account any technical criteria and only based on ideology,” said Zafrilla.

Similarly, he stressed that the experience of previous reversions, specifically that of the Hospital de La Ribera, in Alzira (Valencia), “has proved to be a real failure, with the worsening of the service offered to patients, the increase in waiting lists, the deterioration of infrastructure and the bad working environment”.

“In this way, the Generalitat Valenciana breaks the basic rules of collaboration between companies and administration, and conveys the idea that it doesn’t matter how things are done; whether they are done well or badly, the result is the same, which puts at risk the quality of the health service provided to citizens,” he added.

In this sense, he also assured that the work of the team of professionals during these 15 years has been “impeccable” and that “we have been up to the task in every difficult situation, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“In this health crisis, the health department of Torrevieja attended a large volume of patients compared to other hospitals and, however, recorded the lowest rate of infection among professionals in the Valencian Community and a figure three times lower than the national average,” he said.

According to Zafrilla, after 15 years at the head of the Torrevieja Health Department, “we are absolutely convinced that our model of indirect management is more favourable for the 160,000 patients assigned to the department than the traditional model of direct management, so it would have been an exercise in responsibility if the Valencian administration had kept it that way, even more so after the global health crisis of the coronavirus”.

The managing director regretted that “the opportunity to make two management models that can complement and enrich each other coexist is being lost” and predicts that, with the reversion of this health department to the public system, “we are going backwards in the evolution of healthcare in our country, in a region that is lucky enough to be able to carry out a serious exercise in comparing models in order to move towards modernity”.

“We wanted to be responsible and leave the next managers a Strategic Plan that will allow us to maintain the levels of healthcare quality that we have achieved in the department throughout this time and which contemplates an investment of almost 40 million euros in new infrastructures over the next five years,” he said.

As an exercise in “transparency”, the Department’s management has invited the regional deputies of all the parties represented in the Corts to see first-hand the balance sheet and the state of affairs in the area.

“We are proud of the work done in these 15 years, and we want to thank especially the professionals for their dedication and effort, which has been reflected in the 50 awards obtained in this period as the prestigious Joint Commission International accreditation, and of course our patients, for their loyalty and trust,” he concluded.


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