THE VALENCIAN government has rejected calls to overturn plans to remove the private management of two health departments.
The Denia and Manises areas will return to public management in 2024 after 15 years of contracts held by Ribera Salud and Sanitas respectively.
Denia mayor, Vicent Grimalt, said he welcomed the news and that an audit commissioned in January had showed the ‘degradation’ suffered in the Marina Alta with ‘poor conditions for the workforce’.
Grimalt’s counterpart at Benissa, Arturo Poquet, said he was happy because the reversal to public management had been achieved and that he was ‘confident’ that rising departures of health staff would slow down.
After the previous regional government lost last May’s election, there had been thoughts that the new PP-Vox administration would either extend the franchises or even overturn the move to public management, following controversial changes in recent years in Alzira and Torrevieja.
The Health Ministry said that after months of speculation, ‘planned, rigorous and orderly transition will be carried out’.
The Denia contract was due to expire at the end of January but a deal has been struck with Ribera Salud for an extension up to May 1 to ‘help the transition’, with department serving around 180,000 people.
Meanwhile the Manises transfer will take place a few days later on May 7 in an area of 210,000 residents.
The work council president in Denia, Joan Sarrio, acknowledged that it was an exciting moment but admitted that the ‘final stretch’ until public management arrives ‘will be hard, but we will help to ensure that healthcare has the quality that users deserve’.