Dogs are able to visit their owners at the hospital in Ibiza. | MDB

The regional health ministry is looking at extending the "dogspital" project at Can Misses Hospital in Ibiza to other hospitals in the Balearics.

The project in Ibiza, the first of its kind in Spain, allows dogs to visit their owners while they are in hospital. The dogs need to have veterinary checks and certification. If this is in order, there is an area in the hospital where patients can be with their dogs. Doctors also have to give their approval for dogs to visit.

The scheme was launched in July last year and has been well received. The ministry is therefore open to it being adopted elsewhere, although no decisions as to which other hospitals will allow dogs have yet been made.

At Can Misses the patient security unit is responsible for the project. The head of the unit, Paz Merino, says that it has been possible because of the support of the health service branch in Ibiza and the free time given by various vets. The initiative has been recognised by the Friends of the Dog Foundation, which has given it a national award.