By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE Balearic Minister for Health and Consumer Affairs, Vicenç Thomas, yesterday gave Palma's new Son Espases Hospital a clean bill of health after its first 23 days in operation.

There have been various teething problems, such as isolated leaking pipes, a rogue virus located in one of the operating theatres in the first few days and a few other problems which have prompted a series of minor protests by medical staff over working conditions in what is being heralded as one of the most advanced public health hospitals in Europe.

MINOR PROBLEMS
However, it appears that, minor problems aside, the first three weeks have been a success, as far as the Minister for Health is concerned.
Thomas announced yesterday that since the hospital came into full operation, 526 patients have been admitted to the hospital, over 2'000 external consultations have been carried out and around 6'500 emergencies handled.

The Minister said that Son Espases is more or less, running at the same rate as the old Son Dureta Hospital was a year ago and he proclaimed that the facts and figures clearly demonstrate that the hospital “works” despite the initial problems. “We're delighted that the hospital functions and now, what we have to do is let the hospital and its staff get on with their jobs in a clean and productive environment,” he added referring to the recent protests by certain sections of the medical staff.

GATHERING MOMENTUM “With careful planning and hard work, all of these problems are being resolved and the day-to-day running of the hospital is gradually gathering momentum,” he added.

Thomas also confirmed that the free bus service for staff wishing to park at Son Dureta, where it is free, and use the shuttle to Son Espases is going to be operating from Wednesday.

He said that the delay has been caused for technical reasons and not because the Ministry for Health has any objections to the free bus proposal.

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