The Community of Madrid will have to pay 30 million for the 'ghost beds' of the Puerta de Hierro hospital
The Community of Madrid will have to pay almost 30 million euros for 135 non-existent beds from the Puerta de Hierro Hospital in Majadahonda. The newspaper 'El País' advances this Thursday that a court has condemned the regional executive of Isabel Díaz Ayuso to pay this amount to the concession company despite the fact that they have never existed: a situation that dates back to the times of Hope Aguirre, when the then president of Madrid decided that the new hospital should have single rooms and not double rooms, even if they paid for the beds that were not going to be used. A fight that the concessionaire has won in court but that is also being investigated by criminal means in court 53 of the capital.
The lack of control of the sanitary privatization opens a new judicial front against Aguirre
Regional executive sources confirm this information to elDiario.es. "According to the ruling, the Community must pay 29,705,262.20 euros for the decision of the regional government, at the time, to make single rooms instead of doubles as contemplated in the first project," these sources explain. Of that money there are 11.3 million that have already been paid and that correspond to the late payment between 2013 and 2021 while the rest, another 18.3 million more, are the payments to be made from 2022 until the end of the concession in 2035 .
The origin of these almost 30 million euros It dates back to 2005, when the executive who then led Esperanza Aguirre awarded the management of the Puerta de Hierro hospital to the joint venture made up of Dragados, Sufi and Bovis Lend Lease. Three years later, shortly before the inauguration, the file was modified so that 135 double rooms became single. This change was not accompanied by an economic modification of the contract and the Community of Madrid paid the same, ultimately, for 135 fewer beds.
It was the next executive, that of Cristina Cifuentes, who tried to put a stop to this payment of public money for beds that did not exist. The Legal Advisory Commission of the regional administration, an advisory body, reflected in a 2017 report that the change in the rooms was "at the request of the Presidency of the Community of Madrid", which led Cifuentes to open a sanctioning procedure for claim 4 million euros for these services not provided.
A battle that, for now, the concessionaire has won in court. It is a case that is also being investigated criminally. For months the 53rd court in Madrid has been investigating whether this surprise reduction of beds without budgetary changes, to the detriment of public coffers, could conceal crimes of embezzlement and prevarication, as considered by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office. In this case, for the moment, the general director Elena de Mingo and the then general director of Economic Management Jesús Alejandro Vidart.
The magistrate of the court 53 rejected the request of Anticorruption to accuse Esperanza Aguirre and her then Health Minister, Juan Jesús Güemes, as well as Deputy Minister Ana Sánchez. The Prosecutor's Office is waiting for the Provincial Court of Madrid to resolve its appeal on this refusal, considering that Aguirre must give explanations about a decision that the internal reports of the regional executive attribute to him personally.