The Junta de Andalucía has just given the green light to the construction and development of the Andalusian Center for Proton therapy, “a pioneering initiative in the field of research and treatment against cancer” projected in the Technological Scientific Park of Córdoba and promoted by Ceanprotep, a UTE ( temporary union of companies) made up of Ceanprotep Investigation, Dulas Servicios Sanitarios and Mevión Medial Systems, according to the autonomous administration itself. The truth is that, in this way, the commitment of the autonomous government to this project is confirmed, as reported by elDiario.es Andalucía, after it had been working for years in the ProSAS-CNA Project, conceived to be launched by the Board and operated by the Andalusian Health Service (SAS), and which envisaged the installation of a proton accelerator at the National Accelerators Center (CNA), located on Isla de la Cartuja, In sevilla.
The private health business makes its way in Andalusia in the middle of the PP-PSOE row
The Governing Council learned Last Tuesday of the declaration of “strategic interest” for Andalusia in this private project in Córdoba, which has an initial investment of more than 42 million. Sources close to the ProSAS-CNA project, whose members prepared the White Book on Proton therapy published by the Andalusian Society of Hospital Radiophysics this past June, regret that the Board does not use “a mature, consensual public project, respected by national and international specialists, and substitute it for this private one, without consensus.” “The worst thing is that there will no longer be room for a public facility,” the sources indicate.
The Board, in fact, reported this Tuesday in a statement of the benefits of the center, with characteristics that were already exposed a few years ago through the ProSAS project and that the Board now attributes to the Cordoba center. “They asked us for a comprehensive economic report with the costs-benefits that we prepared and delivered to them. There has been no response either positive or negative. Now a private, not public, center is given the green light, and the patients who are treated “, indicate the sources of the public project.
During these years, two proton therapy accelerators associated with private clinics have been installed in Madrid. Likewise, recently, two public accelerator projects have been proposed to be developed in the communities of Cantabria and Catalonia. But it is not the first time that a government made up of PP and Ciudadanos is ‘anticipated’ by private healthcare: in December 2018, PP and Ciudadanos rejected an amendment to the 2019 budgets for the Autonomous Community of Madrid to finance with 21 million euros for the creation of a prontotherapy center while a private health group, Quirónsalud, finalized the works to offer this technique in a new installation in Pozuelo de Alarcón and that it would be “open” to patients “from both public and private health.”
The fact is that the Ministry of Health has since 2016 on the table the plan for public health, which would make Andalusia have the first public proton therapy program in Spain. But the promoters of the ProSAS-CNA Project ran into the counselor Jesús Aguirre in the summer of 2020 supporting the project that now sees the light during a meeting with Mevion, one of the companies that finally make up the UTE to execute it. “Córdoba will host a treatment center for cancer patients through proton therapy, an initiative that the Mevion company plans to promote and which will become a reference in the care of cancer patients in southern Europe,” the counselor announced at that time.
Sources from his department hardly indicate that it is a matter that does not depend on that Ministry, but they do not comment on the public project. As they recall from ProSAS, the economic report of the public project stated that 80% of its financing would come from European Feder funds if the Board supported it. From a second meeting with the SAS in 2019 they do not know anything. The Ministry does not offer more detail than “little news.”
As reported by this medium, the White Book of the public project ProSAS-CNA, now ‘White Paper on Proton therapy’ so that it can be used in other facilities, he said that the initiative arose from “a group of professionals motivated and encouraged by the benefit that would entail having a facility of this type in the field of public health and with the perspective of providing service not only to patients from the Andalusian community but also from other regions of the country and even from neighboring countries “. The project working group ProSAS-CNA It had among its members radiotherapists, oncologists, radiophysicists and physicists “with varied, and extensive, training and experience.”
“An installation of high interest”, argues the Board
As the Board said in a statement on Tuesday, the private investment planned in Córdoba will now allow “the constitution of a pioneering technological development cluster in Spain with Andalusian public universities, especially with the University of Córdoba (UCO), which will help attract European projects in the techno- logical field. Thanks to this transfer of knowledge between the public-private initiative, Andalusia can be at the forefront of techno-sanitary innovation in this area “.
“In the previous phases, the complex will generate at least 24 jobs, to which must be added the hiring of another 20, between technicians and operators, for the construction of the building and the installation of the proton unit that, due to its Special complexity requires coordination with the architectural project. To this must be added those generated, indirectly, associated with the actions promoted by the UCO and the Maimonides Institute for Biomedical Research, also located in the capital of Córdoba, which is They estimate at about eight. In total, the action has 52 jobs associated with it. This facility will be built on a plot of 1,749 square meters with a buildable area of 2,448 square meters. ”
“This project is part of the Cancer Mission of the European Commission, an initiative that will serve as a guide for tackling this disease in the coming years in the Horizon Europe 2021-2027 Framework Program, which replaces Horizon 2020. In Andalusia about 150 patients undergo this technique a year. According to sources from the Spanish Society of Radiation Oncology, it is estimated that in the short term proton therapy is used in 2% of cancer patients, this percentage rising to 11% in the medium term ” , the statement detailed.
“In the approval of this center, the Junta de Andalucía has valued that it is an investment with high innovative and technological potential, to the sector of medical diagnosis and treatment services. Likewise, it has considered that it is a facility of high interest for R&D not only biomedical but for that carried out in other fields such as applied physics “, concluded the Board.