STAFF REPORTER
PALMA'S brand new University Hospital of Son Espases is to start receiving its first patients on Monday this week, the regional Health ministry confirmed yesterday.

In line with the carefully planned opening schedule which has involved some 250 professionals for more than a year, out-patients departments and certain external consultancy specialist treatments will begin this week, gradually building up over the coming weeks.

Appointments have already been made for people needing treatment from cancer specialists, orthopedic surgeons, dermatologists, physiotherapists, plastic surgeons, ear nose and throat specialists, amongst others.

The plan of transferring activity from the former General Hospital of Son Dureta to Son Espases aims to start with the simpler moves building up to more complex relocation as the weeks pass.

Already, administration services have left Son Dureta and taken up office in Son Espases.
The second phase of the move planned for the latter part of November will include bringing over some hospital furniture and equipment from Son Dureta and putting the final touches to state of the art clinical technology that has been described by the Balearic government as some of the most advanced in Europe. The opening plan, said the Health ministry yesterday, is scrupulously following the dates which had been mapped out in advance for the transfer of hospital services.

In the later stages of the move planned for December, the infant and maternity units will be closed down in Son Dureta and put into operation in Son Espases, as will those related to mental health. Operating theatres in Son Dureta will also be amongst the last facilities to close prior to transfer to the new hospital. As of January, said the Health Ministry, the operating theatre units will be functioning 100 percent from Son Espases.

The plan has tried to ensure that the movement of professionals from one location to another remains very gradual, enabling staff to guarantee quality of care and safety for patients. Research laboratories will open up in Son Espases in May next year and finally the radiotherapy unit.

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