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When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Benidorm´s "free" hospital criticised

Hospital with N332 running only meters away
The Hospital Marina Baixa in Villa Joyosa, which is the local Social Security (ie free) hospital serving Benidorm and the surrounding area has come under criticism from hospital workers. This is the hospital used by thousands of tourists every year in emergencies and free on presentation of a valid blue European Health Insurance Card, or EHIC for short. Most importantly, not for its medical care but for access to the hospital.

The one and only road which leads to the hospital has remained unchanged since it was built  27 years ago, despite the fact that the population it serves and services offered by the hospital having multiplied considerably. The hospital can be seen from the N332 bypass and is only a few hundred metres away, but there is no direct access from it. Instead, you are forced to detour onto the old Benidorm to Villa Joyosa road, go over several roundabouts, passing the crematorium en route until you eventually come to the access road on your right - which at night is often unlit. This detour is 6 kilometers and the duration can vary depending on the time of day and traffic on the road. Heaven forbid if you are caught behind a school bus or cement mixer!

Some weeks ago there was a major collision on the N332 between a bus and car, which staff witnessed from the hospital and sounded the alarm. Ambulances were immediately dispatched, but still took a considerable time to reach the scene as they had to go back on themselves in order to get onto the N332. A 32 yr old woman driver died and two children plus the bus driver were injured, needing hospital treatment.

Front of Villa Joyosa Hospital
Marisa Corcostegui, President of the health department staff at the hospital was quoted as saying "It is pathetic that one of the most important services in the region is lacking quick access to enable effective care in the case of an emergency. The staff are fully trained and equipped to deal with emergencies but are let down due to the failing infrastructure".

Another point worth noting is that there is hardly any public transport which serves the hospital - the only bus is the number 23 which goes to Villa Joyosa. There are no buses which come from Benidorm.... I think this is going to be my next project, trying to petition Llorente buses to extend one of the routes up to the hospital.

Perhaps if one of the local politician´s family was caught up in this "access fracas" and help was delayed due to the detour, then something would get done quicker..... but then again, they´d probably be going to Clinica Benidorm!

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1 comment:

  1. hi irene, do you know what is happening with the selomar hotel, on levante beach? I am expecting it to fall down one day

    ReplyDelete

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