Over thirty private hospitals in Valencia have stepped in to help with urgent surgical operations due to state health service shortages
The referral of surgeries to the private sector has been growing for two years in an attempt to reduce waiting lists. From January to September of last year, these clinics billed the government almost 21 million euros.
Around thirty private hospitals and clinics across three provinces are collaborating with the Ministry of Health to address non-urgent surgical waitlists. The waitlist, which has surpassed 67,000 patients is nearly three months long and remains a significant challenge for the administration due to the persistent backlog resulting from the coronavirus pandemic’s forced shutdown of operating rooms.
The Health Department recently responded to a parliamentary inquiry by Popular Party deputy José Juan Zaplana regarding the cost of private sector surgeries under the “shock plan” in 2022.
The inquiry comes as the Botanic government once again relies on private companies to reduce waiting times, similar to last year. Zaplana also requested information on the specific institutions that are providing the “extra” surgeries that public hospitals are unable to complete within their own after-hours plan for overtime operations.
As reported by the Health Department, during the initial nine months of 2022, they transferred 21,837 procedures to the private sector, primarily from Valencia’s General Hospital, Alicante, and San Juan departments. The total cost of these interventions amounted to €20,721,713, although some procedures on the invoice were from the preceding year.
With three months remaining in the year, the Ministry had already surpassed the €15 million shock plan budget from the previous year.