STAFF REPORTER

THE Balearic government has decided to postpone the transfer of patients from Son Dureta to Palma's new general hospital of Son Espases until the 18th and 19th of December, the regional Health Minister Vicenç Thomas confirmed yesterday.

The move comes after hospital worker union representatives and professionals had asked for more time to “acclimatise” to their new surroundings. The transfer of patients had originally been planned between the 6th and 8th of December but staff were anxious to guarantee patient security and as a result claimed the need to first become accustomed to the working environment at Son Espases.

Speaking yesterday afternoon after a Transfer Committee meeting, Thomas said that he had taken the decision after looking at the comments and concerns which had been registered with the ministry by hospital workers and which had been discussed regularly over the past week.

Thomas didn't say how long the patient transfer was going to take but gave assurances that “all would be operating normally” on 20th December.
The Minister said that yesterday's decision would put the minds of staff who had been concerned about the transfer timetable at rest. Thomas said that there had “never been a problem” about altering the date and that it had to be remembered that the physical transfer involved the movement of people who were ill and that it was essential to have their safety as a top priority.

Thomas acknowledged that the move to Son Espases is a “delicate and complicated” operation but that to date, all had been running smoothly. He pointed out that the government had been given the keys to the new building on 10th October and by 15th November, the outpatient department was functioning.

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