The tension increases between Ribera Salud and the Generalitat Valenciana as the end of the contract for which the company has managed the Torrevieja health department under a 15-year concession granted by the PP approaches.
Specifically, it will be this Saturday, October 16, when the Ministry of Health recovers the public management of both the hospital in the Alicante town and the associated primary care centers.
After losing all the judicial resources that Ribera Salud, owned by Centene Corporation, whose European executive director is Alberto de Rosa (brother of PP senator Fernando de Rosa), put to stop the process of public recovery of the health area due to the end of the contract, The company has kept hospital and health center services to a minimum in recent weeks.
This was denounced at the beginning of October in a joint statement by four unions from the works council (CSIF, SATSE, Sindicato Médico Y USAE): “The professionals of the department have been working very hard for 15 years because it is our vocation and we will continue to do so regardless of whoever manages the health area, however these days we have a great feeling of helplessness due to the lack of professionals without anyone taking responsibility for it. ”
The unions expressed their disagreement “with the measures that during these days the supervisors have been transferring to the professionals about the situation in which the department is staying these 15 days until the Ministry begins management, in which the professionals have made us participate “.
As a committee, they requested to meet with the company and to explain that they did not agree “with the measures that left the department at a minimum and their response was that they had made a planning for these 15 days taking the situation into account.”
Among the measures adopted by Ribera Saludo, denounced by the unions, stands out “the termination of most of the temporary contracts on September 30, which has left many services with a lack of personnel.” In this regard, the president of the committee, Ana Linares (CSIF), has commented that of the 300 that ended, only a hundred were renewed until October 15.
In addition, “maternity beds have been closed, three ICU beds, 30 surgery beds, the rehabilitation service goes from being 14 physiotherapists that there are normally, to seven for the entire department (hospital and primary school), social workers go from being five and a half professionals, to three and a half for the entire hospital and primary; the emergency service has left the minimum staff; primary care has suffered a great loss of professionals; and specialist agendas have been closed “.
According to the unions, “this lack of personnel may cause care not to remain the same as it was being provided” and they recalled that “until October 15, Ribera Salud is responsible for the hiring necessary to provide quality care.”
These unions “due to responsibility” reported the situation “to the Commissioner’s unit in a meeting that was held as a committee, since the Ministry must supervise the proper functioning of this health area.”
As they explained, “as health professionals we have an obligation to warn the population that all these measures could lead to worse quality healthcare than in other areas, in addition to increasing waiting lists.”
Union sources have also confirmed that the company tried to take one of the two TAC teams from the hospital with a van, but that finally, apparently at the direction of the Ministry, they left it, and that they have marked as their own several respirators and medication pumps , although they do not know if with the idea of taking them away, some facts for which the Ministry of Health raised a complaint to the high inspection, which is reviewing all the facilities.
The president of the committee, Ana Linares, has regretted that “the company has delayed until a few days ago the delivery of information on personnel contracts to the Department and that is a problem because it is necessary to see in what contractual situation each one is and who continues and who does not as of October 15 “.
However, Linares has assured that Health has transferred them that they have a plan drawn up so that the hospital does not have a lack of personnel as of Saturday.
The Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, reproached Ribera Salud this Wednesday for not having sent the information required to carry out the public recovery of the health department “despite the five orders that the TSJCV has issued throughout a contentious procedure due to the litigation in which Ribera Salud converted this termination of the concession “.