THE outpatients' department of Palma's new general hospital at Son Espases has opened to the public with a normal service, reported the Balearic Ministry for Health yesterday.

Lluis Carretero, the hospital managing director, said that out of the 180 patients who had appointments on the first day of opening, only two had lodged complaints.

Apparently, said Carretero, the people concerned should have been seeing a specialist at the former general hospital of Son Dureta, but as soon as the mistake had been realised, the Balearic Health Service (Ib-Salut) made an arrangement for them to be ferried out on a shuttle bus service.

When questioned about how the error had come about, Carretero said that he would take responsibility for it but said that small administration errors were normal on the first day of opening of such an enormous public service such as the new Son Espases hospital.

Carretero said that everything “had gone according to plan” and gave credit to the hundreds of professional members of staff who had worked many extra hours to make sure that patient well-being is maintained during the difficult transfer from the old general hospital to the new. “The staff have done all they possibly can to make sure things run smoothly,” praised Carretero.

Petra Villalonga, Nursing director at Son Espases, said yesterday that a great deal of planning had been undertaken over the last few weeks. “There's always some small detail that escapes attention but nothing of major significance has happened,” she maintained.

Dermatologist, Doctor Mestre said that she regretted not being able to attend some patients at the beginning of this week because treatement equipment was “warming up”.

She thanked those patients who had been very understanding when they were told they would have to be seen either later this week or at the beginning of next.


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