The Ministry of Health of the Canary Islands Government plans to reactivate during 2019 the Juan Carlos I Hospital in the capital of Gran Canaria, that is, take advantage of disused spaces in the old military complex for the installation of 60 to 80 beds for medium and long-term patients, together with four or five operating rooms for major outpatient surgery .
Specifically, the regional department led by José Manuel Baltar plans to allocate a couple of million euros to remodel during the first months of next year the last two plants of the health center, dependent on the University Hospital of Gran Canaria Doctor Negrín, after starting to at the end of 2018 the rehabilitation works of its facade with a budget close to one and a half million and an estimated term of one semester. Acquired by the Government of the Canary Islands to the Ministry of Defense for 12 million in 2002, the Hospital Juan Carlos I stayed 16 years in the capital district of San Francisco, perched on the cliff of San Nicolás, waiting for a comprehensive reform to alleviate the health needs of the population of Gran Canaria, finally, already in execution and writing .
"We started with the first phase and the second phase of the façade is missing, the idea is to remodel from the outside inwards, we already made the key decision and now we are with the preliminary project, in the process, but with the aim that it will work during 2019, it is not a long work ", explains the Director of the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS), Conrado Domínguez, about the future areas of hospitalization and surgery of the former military hospital, successor of the former military sanatorium located in the building now occupied by the institutional headquarters or rector of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Not in vain, the head of the SCS predicts that the actions will not be extended or increased because "the building is fine, it is only about small renovations, the big cost of projects in old buildings is due to the installations of electricity, air conditioning or medical gases ".
Currently, the Juan Carlos I complex is intended for mental health patients, above all, since the San Francisco I and II day centers are located there, as well as the daytime hospital for children and the unit's mobile team. It also houses the rehabilitation service for minors, dependent on the Insular Maternal and Child University Hospital Complex, and some units of Service Management for Health and Safety in the Canary Islands (GSC), a public company attached to both Health and the Ministry of Policy Territorial, Sustainability and Security with several departments such as the Canary Emergency Service (SUC) or the Emergency and Security Coordination Center (Cecoes) 1-1-2.
However, the regional administration it hardly uses 40 to 50% of the surface of Juan Carlos I since its acquisition to the Armed Forces, according to Domínguez, "is clearly underutilized". Therefore, "we think about recovering those public spaces", continues the director of the SCS about one of the major projects of the area in the final section of the current legislature, five months before the elections.
In fact, "they already heard the counselor a million times, one of the problems we have in Canarian public health is that our number of beds and operating rooms is below the national average", argues the number two of the regional department, an area subject to political confrontation during the current term because of the waiting lists and the private agreement. Through the operation of Juan Carlos I, precisely, the team led by José Manuel Baltar increases public resources instead of resorting to private clinics in order to maintain the downward trend achieved throughout the last years both in the pending citizens and in the months necessary for a surgery operation (27,165 patients and 146 days to June 30), specialty consultation (124.796 users) or diagnostic test (6.748).
Although the programming of complex interventions in the infrastructure of Calle Real del Castillo 152 was ruled out, "because we can not maintain a resuscitation or intensive care unit there, with major outpatient surgery (CMA), for operations that do not require admission, you unblock operating rooms from other hospitals, "says Conrado Domínguez, who half of the year attributed the reduction of the surgical lists to the" great effort "made through the CMA 24 and other specific programs such as Function 2 or the Delay Plan. Neither in hospitalization is projected to transform Juan Carlos I into a hospital at the highest level of care, such as the Negrin or the Insular, but it is planned to install up to 80 beds for "patients without much health requirement but of medium and long stay, Chronic or geriatric patients that we usually transfer to the concerted centers and so we will no longer depend so much on the availability of places in private clinics", highlights the SCS director before clarifying that the improvements in San Francisco will not only benefit the users and professionals of its reference complex.
Although the management of the building will continue to depend on Doctor Negrín, "because there is already a staff structure", Conrado Domínguez emphasizes that the new operating rooms and beds will not be exclusively dedicated to the staff or citizenship attached to the northern hospital, "but Whoever needs the resources throughout the Island, also the professionals and patients of the Insular-Materno. " And in another project of the Ministry of Health in the medium term, also, "we are also thinking of taking advantage of other unused spaces of the Hospital Juan Carlos I to concentrate there future services common to the entire autonomous public system such as tissue or breast milk banks", concludes the SCS director.