The Valencian Government has confirmed that it will take back into public management the University Hospital of Torrevieja once the concession with the Ribera Salud group in October 2021, although its intention not to extend the contract must be formally notified to the group in October this year.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Health, Ana Barceló, to Les Corts Valencianes, on Thursday, in response to a question from the Unides Podem deputy Irene Gómez.

“The road map has not changed,” said Barceló, who added that in October, she will notify Ribera Salud “that the contract is concluded when it expires next year.”

Barceló said, the 180,000 people who depend on this hospital, currently managed by a concession, “will be brought entirely into the public system.”

The Minister said that this pandemic has highlighted the importance of public and universal health, that “it has helped us all without distinction and has made us all equal in the face of the disease.”

Her statement came shortly after Ximo Puig had been rather ambiguous in confirming the renewal of the concession, even proposing some type of intermediate concession route under greater public supervision, something that their partners, Compromís and Podemos, did not like.

Ribera Salud has not only managed the Hospital since October 2006, but also the primary care centres that serve the population of ten municipalities in the towns of Torrevieja, Guardamar del Segura, Rojales, San Fulgencio, Formentera, San Miguel de Salinas, Pilar de la Horadada, Orihuela Costa , Benijófar, and Los Montesinos.