Just 20 days ago Chema Molina welcomed his second son to the hospital of Son Espases de Palma. The joy of the arrival of the newborn became angry when he went to remove the car from the parking lot nine hours after having arrived at the health center with his wife and after seeing a bill of 13 euros for having left the vehicle there. "For the three days that my wife was in I spent more than 20 euros and I had to move the car at night to a nearby neighborhood and walk more than 15 minutes along the road to get to the hospital. It's a steal, "he laments.
The one of this neighbor of Palma can be one of the last cases after the Balearic Parliament has approved a proposal of law for guarantee free parking of public health centers on the islands. In the Balearic Islands there are currently 12 health complexes managed by the Health Service, to which two more will be added in the coming months. Of this dozen there are only two that currently have paid parking; the reference hospital of Son Espases de Palma, with a rate of 1.22 euros per hour, and the hospital of Can Misses, in Ibiza, with a price of 2.1 euros per hour.
"Within the business model of the hospital in Palma, parking was included. The contractor paid for the construction of the center and the autonomous community paid an annual fee and gave him the exploitation of non-assistance services, among which was parking, "says the secretary of the UGT Public Services Federation in the islands, Miguel Angel Romero. The public tender, under the judicial lens for years, was promoted during the mandate of the former president of the PP in the Jaume Matas Islands, for whom the prosecution asks four and a half years in prison precisely for alleged irregularities in the granting of works of this center, which were finally attacked by Dragados.
Romero says that those of Son Espases and Can Misses they are not unique cases in Spain, but some are quite different. There are public centers in Seville and Madrid in which, according to the union spokesman, many companies took the opportunity to build private parkings nearby. "It happens in other centers of the capital, Seville and Valencia, but in many of them the parking was not part of the concession" notes. The case of Can Misses is very similar to that of Palma, according to the union delegate of UGT in this health center, Pedro Campillo: "The parking lot entered the concession of the complex and the hospital is surrounded by buildings and streets where it is impossible leave the car, "he says.
The proposed law promoted by the PSOE, Podemos, Més per Mallorca and Gent per Formentera stresses that the decision to include the management of these car parks in the operation of the health centers "determines a situation of inequality among the citizens of the islands. to the accessibility to the hospital services according to the area of residence ". In the case of Ibiza, the parking charge causes it to be underutilized and the seats for the residents of the area totally covered by the users of the hospital, while in Palma the users are condemned to pay because the hospital is not in an urban area and Public transport is not always an option.
The opinion of the Autonomous Parliament includes the obligation that the places are free "to ensure the equality of citizens in the conditions of access to the centers." In addition, it grants the regional government a period of six months to make the free parking spaces effective and obliges the concessionaire to collaborate in adopting the necessary measures to achieve it. The Executive of the socialist Francina Armengol, who governs in coalition with the nationalists of Més per Mallorca and the external support of Podemos, calculates that the recovery of both car parks will cost 50 million euros to the autonomous regions. The Administration will have to pay 2.2 million euros per year for Son Espases and 300,000 for Can Misses during the remaining 20 years of concession.