When Isabel Díaz Ayuso inaugurated the Isabel Zendal Nurse Emergency Hospital two years ago, one of the controversies was discovering that the building lacked operating rooms. The Community of Madrid had spent triple what was budgeted to build a health center in record time, but had forgotten about the operating rooms despite the fact that Ayuso assured that it would serve in the future to care for patients from catastrophes such as a plane crash. The regional government has now announced that it will build six operating rooms so that it can be one of the centers to which patients from the La Paz hospital are referred now that it is going to be renovated.
The enclave located in Valdebebas, north of Madrid, to combat Covid, was never fully used – 1,000 beds were announced and only about 500 were opened at their peak occupancy. And it has been with an almost testimonial occupation of patients for more than a year despite the fact that it costs several million euros each year to maintain it. As reported by elDiario.es a year ago, it had more than 400 toilets for just 38 patients.
The low occupancy and the high cost of the infrastructure have been constantly criticized by the opposition and health workers who have always defended that it has been a propaganda project to cover up the “disastrous” management of the pandemic. Now, Ayuso has found a function that allows her to keep her star measure open since she is president: it will be one of the several centers that receive patients from the La Paz hospital now that it is going to be remodeled. And for this, it is essential to build operating rooms.
These are not the only works that must be done to make it an operational hospital. External consultations and administrative uses must also be enabled, at the same time that the six operating rooms will be created, which include robotic surgery and a hybrid operating room, post-anesthesia recovery posts and connection to the existing Critical Unit that will be the future resuscitation, medium-stay hospitalization modules and the installation of Genetics and Pharmacy service areas. “These operating rooms are of great importance to be able to perform surgeries at Hospital La Paz at the time the new surgical module is built,” the Ministry reported. Asked what the cost of these works will be, from Enrique Ruiz Escudero’s department they do not know how to answer.
Raising the building located in the north of the capital, in Valdebebas, next to the controversial City of Justice that is currently in court, cost the public coffers more than 170 million euros, more than triple what initially budgeted. Zendal’s cost overruns, only for construction works, amounted to 170% of the total. The sanitary building has no rooms, it is an open space in which bathrooms are shared and there are no kitchens. To those 170 million must be added others that have been allocated for the maintenance of the infrastructure.