The planned new hospital, Can Misses II, is already bringing politicians out fighting on several fronts, with countless numbers of main players and bit parts. Although Eivissa’s city government is still negotiating with the owners of the property where they would like to build the new hospital, patient groups and the opposition People’s Party (PP) are already fighting over the hospital’s equipment and furnishings.
Emotions are running high over demands for a radiotherapy machine for patients needing such treatments. The Spanish-wide association ‘Asociacion Espanola Contra el Cancer’ (AECC) and the ‘Asociacion de Defensa del Paciente’ issued clear statements, saying, “We view such a treatment option as not just a medical necessity. It is a matter of respect shown to cancer patients on Ibiza and Formentera.”
Those fighting for the radiotherapy machine have found support from the PP. A PP delegate in the Balearic Islands parliament, Carmen Castro, presented data from the Spanish Ministry of Health showing that “in the Navarra Region there is a radiotherapy machine for every 100,000 residents”. There are clearly more residents than that here on the islands.
On a previous visit to Ibiza the Balearic Islands Minister for Health, Vicenç Thomas (Social Democrat, PSOE), did not explicitly rule out the purchase of such a machine for the new hospital, however he did state that the ‘white book of medicine’ recommends a machine for every 200,000 residents and that his ministry has not planned for this expenditure for Ibiza.
According to information provided by the patient associations, in 2007 over 200 cancer patients travelled to Mallorca for treatment. AECC spokesperson Antoni Pallicer said, “Many Spanish citizens from the mainland who live on the Pine Islands prefer to visit a hospital on the mainland when they need treatments. They can stay with relatives or friends for free.” The Balearic Islands Ministry of Health provides a daily stipend of just 12 euros for patients who have to travel for treatment .
Pallicer says, “From this they have to pay both for their meals and a room, which is impossible.” The AECC and ‘Asociacion de Defensa del Paciente’ presented Island Council president Xico Tarres with a petition of almost 30,000 signatures supporting the purchase of such a radiotherapy machine.
In addition, the Balearic Islands Ministry of Health are still holding firm to their schedule for hospital construction, despite the fact that the negotiations with the property owners for the property are not yet complete. Island councillor for health policies, Patricia Abascal, recently said, “We will be inviting bids for the Can Misses II project at the beginning of 2009.”
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