There will be no five-year extension for Ribera Salud, the management company employed by the Department of Health in Torrevieja. This was confirmed by the Valencian Minister for Public Health, Ana Barceló, who said that she will bring the region’s medical facilities back into the public domain when the Ribera Salud management contract expires in October 2021.

The former mayor of Sax made the announcement in response to the company’s statement that it would build a second health centre on the Orihuela Costa, should their contract be extended for a further five years. However the minister was adamant, clearly stating that there will be no extension.

Barceló said that she will not accept “exchange currencies” with regard to health. “What I want to make clear is that the health care of Valencians is above any other interest. That is our commitment, and it will never be the subject of any negotiation.”

See also: Second Medical Centre for Orihuela Costa

Although she didn’t make any reference to the Ribera Salud offer she said, “The Torrevieja concession will revert to the public system as planned, and of that there is no doubt.”

The Torrevieja Department of Health currently operates 10 health centres and 12 auxiliary offices that provides health care to more than 140,000 residents of the municipalities of Torrevieja, San Fulgencio, Formentera del Segura, Benijófar, Rojales, Guardamar del Segura, Los Montesinos, San Miguel de Salinas and Pilar de la Horadada, in addition to attending Orihuela Costa, Torremendo, La Mata and Los Palacios.

She said that from 15 October 2021 the Hospital of Torrevieja and its Department of Health will be managed directly by the Ministry.

However Ribera Salud said that it has no official notification regarding the termination of the contract “so we will continue to work normally on long-term projects.”

The Ministry of Health must officially communicate that it will not extend the concession to Ribera Salud one year before the contract expires, that is, before October 15 of this year.