Palma.—The Balearic Health Service has issued 116'120 new health cards in the first six months of the year, even though electronic chips have still not been incorporated as planned.

Of the total, 82'885 were issued on Majorca, 16'318 on Minorca, 15'723 on Ibiza and 1'194 on Formentera. There are now more than 1'032'000 health cardholders in the Balearics.

Although it was originally intended to have the work of managing the registration and distribution of health cards to an external company, it has in fact been carried out through the regional Health ministry and Ib-Salut Balearic public health administration service.

Calculations are that health cards over the first six months of the year have been issued within a budget of 2.5 million euros, meaning a saving of 50 percent in comparison with costs that would have been incurred had the service been contracted out after a public bid.

More flexible
The new regional Health minister, Antoni Mesquida, said yesterday that he wants to see the issue of public health cards speeded up through a more flexible system.

Mesquida said that he had received complaints from some people that they had had to go three times to their medical centre to secure a health card.
The cards that are currently being issued cost 10 euros and are the same as those which were previously given for free, but the receiver is at the same time being given an official document which will at some time in the future, enable him or her to be eligible for a new card with an electronic identification chip, magnetic band and photo of the holder.


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