Francina Armengol, President of the Government of the Balearic Islands. | Pere Bota

The Government has announced that it’s giving the Health Department a 220 million euro cash injection to cover the cost of the coronavirus pandemic.

That means the approved budget of 1,727 million euros for 2020 will skyrocket to around 1,950 million euros, the highest in history.

The details are included in the Government’s Pact for the Reactivation and Economic and Social Diversification of the Balearic Islands.

80 million euros has already been earmarked to pay for more workers, provide protection material for Healthcare Professionals and Balearic residents and implement new Health Management and pandemic control systems.

An additional 140 million euros will be added, bringing spending to 220, to mobilise additional resources, which includes hiring more than 700 Professionals.

President Armengol said on Tuesday during the plenary session of Parliament that work has been done on ten axes in the short, medium and long term, in agreement with Social and Economic Experts, Island Councils, FELIB and Palma City Council.

The document includes a provision of 20 million euros for agreements with Private Health to alleviate waiting lists that continue to grow due to the paralysis of all medical procedures during the State of Emergency, except oncological and urgent cases.

The measure is in response to the Balearic Union of Health Entities asking the Executive to compensate for the low activity expected during a summer with hardly any tourists by alleviating the waiting lists in the Public Sector.

Although during the plenary session the affected Consellers and the President of the Government denied that any cuts were planned in essential portfolios such as Health, Social Services or Education, but Opposition Deputies pointed out that budget changes would be required to cover the extra costs.

Patricia Guasp, Deputy of Citizens has called for a comprehensive audit to eliminate unnecessary Government spending.