By Humphrey Carter

PALMA City Council announced yesterday that it is going to begin inspecting what activity is being carried out at the new Son Espases Balearic health service hospital after it was revealed that it does not possess all the necessary licenses to open.

Council sources said that a team of municipal engineers and technicians will be visiting the new hospital to see if the work has been completed or not and that it all complies with the project.

Palma's Councillor for Urban development, Yolanda Garvi, said that an application for the inspections to be carried out was submitted on Monday while the Balearic government is doing all it can to ensure that the hospital is issued with a license to open “as quickly as possible.” Garvi added that she is confident that Son Espases will have the necessary permits in order before all of the patients originally from Son Dureta are due to be transferred to the new hospital in the middle of next month.

Nevertheless, Garvi admitted that the council would have preferred for the license to have been applied for earlier but, she stressed that what is important is that Son Espases does have a License for Activity which means that it can care for out patients - and this it has already begun doing.

The council also stressed that all of the hospital's planning licenses are also in order. Ironically, Son Dureta Hospital yesterday began moving its patients to the other Balearic health service hospital of Son Llatzer and private clinics around the capital where they will wait to be finally admitted to Son Espases.

Luis Carretero, Director General for both Son Dureta and the new General Hospital of Son Espases, explained that Son Dureta is trying to minimise its patient in-take and is planning to wind down activity in advance of 18th and 19th December when any other patients remaining will be transferrred to Son Espases - 60 in the Maternity and Infant unit and between 200 and 260 requiring acute care.

Carretero said that his team had been working on the schedule for moving the last of the patients since March this year.
He explained that a pattern has built up in recent years of the nature of in-patients who are in the hospital in November and December, and that this has formed the basis for forecasting what moves will need to be taken to make sure all are safely transported to Son Espases.

Doctors at Son Dureta, said Carretero are continuing to operate on patients who will only require a short period of post-operative care.
The Balearic government has had to fight a long and hard battle to have the new hospital built and the local authorities will be hoping this is the final set back before it opens fully before Christmas.


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