PALMA'S new hospital, shortly to become the top medical centre of the Balearic Islands, is to be officially named the University Hospital of Son Espases and will come into service at the end of this year, the regional government said yesterday.

A spokesman said that the official title carries a clear reference to just where the hospital is located. He claimed that the state-of-the-art facilities provided over a constructed area of 61'000 square metres will mean that Son Espases will be at the cutting edge of national healthcare.

He explained that from the outset, the “University Hospital of Son Espases” was one of the names which was most likely to be chosen, but apparently the regional Ministry for Health and Consumer Affairs had arranged for a round of discussions on the choice . Those taking part included medical personnel from Son Dureta hospital, local town councils, residents' associations, hospital patient groups, unions, cultural organisations and others.

The ministry said that the hospital would provide a “high level of comfort” and has been designed to offer privacy and quality of service to patients. Around 60 percent of the rooms are for individuals as opposed to groups of patients.

The corridors, wards and facilities at the hospital have also been built so that they are more accessible to the physically disabled. The area of the hospital for emergency cases is five times larger than the Accident and Emergency department at Son Dureta hospital in Palma.