Junta moves to force the restart of hospital works or to end contract
The dispute over the halted construction at one of the Costa’s main public hospitals took a new turn this week. Speaking after a meeting with Marbella’s mayor, the Junta de Andalucía’s regional minister for health, Aquilino Alonso, said that he has given a deadline to the private company extending the hospital to restart the works before the end of this summer or face the cancellation of its contract.
The extension to the busy hospital, which would see it increased in size by 70%, was well under way when it was stopped on town hall orders in 2010. The dispute centred on plans for the private company running the new facilities on behalf of the Junta’s public health service to charge for parking spaces on what the council considered to be public land.
The private operating company, ‘Concesionaria Costa del Sol SA’ subsequently tried to cancel the contract and seek compensation, but had its request turned down in the courts.
No change since 2014 pact
In August 2014, all sides reached an agreement to allow the works to continue, adapting plans to meet changed healthcare needs over the intervening four-year period.
However, despite goodwill at the time, nothing has so far happened and now it is the Junta’s turn to threaten to end the operator’s contract.
The regional minister didn’t say what measures would be taken to recover the concession, although he blamed the previous mayor of Malaga, Ángeles Muñoz, for the hold-ups, stating, “If the hospital expansion hadn’t been blocked, it would be up and running now and we shouldn’t lose sight of this.”
Alonso also explained that the reason for the continued delay is that the banks that are financing the private company’s construction are unhappy with the agreement reach source surinenglish