The new hospital in Estepona, built in record time by the town hall of the coastal town and now supported by the Andalusian Health Service, opened on Tuesday and welcomes patients diagnosed with Covid-19.
Although the official opening of the center is scheduled for next Monday, February 8, sources from the regional administration have confirmed that they have already started bringing the first patients to the new hospital.
These are patients with covariectomies who are stable, never critical. It was the contingency committee of the Costa del Sol health area that considered that the situation required the launch of this new resource.
Indeed, in recent weeks the explosion of Covid infections on the Costa del Sol has reached alarming levels. Marbella and Estepona had to close last week and all non-essential activity. In the first of the localities, the Commission today reports a positive incidence rate of 1,260 per 100,000 inhabitants, while in Estepona it is 1,093. But also in the nearby town of Manilva, the ratio is 1,268 while in Ojen it is 1,126.
Already last week, the Junta de Andalucía announced that Estepona would be open to patients with Covid disease, as part of the plan to respond to 7,500 hospitalizations for this disease.
In the province of Malaga, in addition to the center of Estepona, the Auxiliary Hospital of Carranque is prepared, mounted inside a sports pavilion in the worst of the first wave of the coronavirus, but to date no did not have to be used. Carranque, just opposite the Carlos Haya Regional Hospital, currently has a capacity of 140 beds but can be expanded to 400.
As part of this plan in Malaga is also foreseen the suitability of the Residence for free time in Marbella. Before activating these two resources, patients would have to be transferred to private hospitals anyway.
After a decade in which the socialist regional administration kept paralyzed the establishment of an infrastructure that was already underway and even budgeted, the City Council chaired by the popular José María García Urbano managed to come to terms with the Council which would be the municipality which would construct the building, then put it at the disposal of the SAS.
And that’s what happened. In mid-2017, work began and allowed the hospital to be rehabilitated in record time: in December 2018, the completion of construction work was announced. In total, the Region has invested 15 million euros to launch this long-awaited dream, which is now opening its doors conditioned by the coronavirus crisis.
It is a 14,000 square meter building on a 60,166 meter plot. The goal, once the pandemic is overcome, is to serve around 135,000 people a year in order to decongest the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella. The initial project included more than 85,000 annual consultations of 20 specialties and approximately 91,000 annual emergencies.
On the part of the Medical Union, the opening of the Estepona hospital was considered “a false opening”. The organization criticized the fact that it is launched with only one doctor on call at night and that it does not open the emergency room, which will continue to require people to travel to Marbella in the event of an emergency. We will have to wait a little longer for the Hospital to know its cruising speed.