Son Dureta closed when Son Espases Hospital opened.

26-07-2016Joan Torres

President Armengol announced to the Balearic parliament a few days ago that the government will be investing 119 million euros on reopening Son Dureta as a centre specialising in the care of the chronically ill. (Son Dureta has been closed since Son Espases became the principal public health hospital on the island.)

The announcement seemingly took some in the government by surprise, not least Més. The health minister, Patricia Gómez (PSOE) had apparently not agreed this with the social services minister, Fina Santiago (Més). Bel Busquets, the general secretary of Més, insists that the Son Dureta plan is therefore a health ministry project.

She adds that Més aren't opposed to the scheme but stresses that the use of Son Dureta was an element in the agreement for government between PSOE, Més and Podemos and that something on the scale envisaged needs to be completely agreed by the three parties. Moreover, it needs the full backing of unions, professional institutions and indeed opposition parties.

Pilar Costa, the government spokesperson and minister of the presidency, has responded to Més (and Podemos) by saying that there has yet to be a budget drawn up or a plan for work to be undertaken. She insists that all government ministries, including those controlled by Més (e.g. social services) were informed when the president made her announcement.

The plan for Son Dureta is based on one that was drawn up in 2010. PSOE's Vicenç Thomas was then the health minister. It is a project designed to respond to future and current needs. Some two thirds of hospital patients are said to be chronically ill, while they contribute to hospital emergency units sometimes being overwhelmed (typically in the winter because of flu).

The reopened Son Dureta would, under the proposed scheme, have specialist units for dementia, long stay and other needs as well as its own pharmacy, radiology department, consultants for outpatients and day hospital. There may also be space for residential use for people with dependence.

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