The company which operates the non-clinical parts of Son Espases Hospital has accumulated penalties amounting to 3.4 million euros since the hospital opened in 2010. Issued by the IB-Salut health services, these fines reached their highest level in 2012, when there was a combined amount of one million euros, while last year's figure of 257,000 euros was the lowest so far.
The general secretary of the health service, Manuel Palomino, says that the number of incidences leading to penalties has gone down in a progressive manner. This is "good news", he adds, as it suggests that things are operating in a better fashion. This same point was made by the health minister, Patricia Gómez, when asked about the hospital's management in parliament last week.
Fines incurred last year covered different services that the company provides. The highest amount was 86,000 euros for maintenance failures, followed by waste management (48,000) and cleaning (34,000). The lowest amounts - 12,400 and just over 5,000 euros - were for car parking and cafeteria.
Palomino observes that the greatest improvement has been for sterilisation (fines of 29,500 in 2016). In the first years of the hospital's operation, this accounted for the highest quantity of fines. Food has also improved. The level of fines was 22,000 last year, which represents a lowering in the number of complaints about the quality of meals.
Car parking, although the penalties' figure is one of the lowest, remains something that generates numerous complaints. The health service and the company are discussing the possibility of car parking being made free to hospital workers and users before the current government administration ends in 2019.
President Armengol has recognised that making parking free will not be an easy task. Moreover, it would come with a significant financial sum attached.
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