Povisa, one of the largest private hospitals in Spain and one of the most profitable concerts with the public administration, puts a pulse on the Xunta: it wants more money from the Galician Administration, which bills it 80 million annually for a quota of 137,000 Patient booklets in the Vigo area. The Vigo polyclinic has requested the pre-contest of creditors appealing the loss of 42 million euros since the extension of the agreement signed in 2014. The hospital, which has a staff of 1,500 workers (273 of them, doctors, and 467 technicians and nurses) threatens the Galician government, as it has done on previous occasions, with breaking the concert and returning to public health the 137,000 patients. While from citizen and union collectives urge the government of Alberto Núñez Feijóo (PP) to rescue the hospital for public health, the Xunta made a first assignment on Thursday: it is committed to assume the management of the pharmaceutical expenses of the patients assigned but not admitted to the hospital.
Unlike the Valencian Community that, in compliance with the Botanical Pact sealed by the Government of the forces of change (Socialist Party, Compromis and Podemos), has begun the recovery of Alzira hospital ending private management of public health , the Sergas does not want to hear about rescuing Povisa. Far from it, he has made the first assignment: the payment of medicines to outpatients.
The Xunta de Feijóo does not want to end the model. Despite the vision of the unions and the Association for the Defense of Public Health, who are asking for the rescue of the hospital convinced that the pre-contest of creditors is nothing more than a trick of the company to renegotiate the concert in more beneficial terms, Sergas has already rejected the rescue option that would assume a considerable volume of patients generating a problem of space and personnel after years of cuts in public health. However, he has offered to the hospital to intervene his pharmacy and pay outpatient medication for outpatients: about five million euros.
The request of the pre-creditors' meeting involves a new order from the private hospital to the Galician Administration, which to date has acceded to all the claims of the company. The last one, in 2010, when Povisa sent a communication to the media announcing that it would be doomed to present an ERE before the "lack of negotiation for a new agreement that makes the future of the hospital visible". Feijóo then reacted immediately: he announced the extension of the agreement with the hospital until 2014 and the ERE vanished.
EMILIO DE BENITO
Public health agreements with private providers have a strong ideological critique – there is the white tide – but also economic. The clearest case was Alzira, in which the Valencian Community subcontracted with a company the operation of the hospital in the area. The first concession was in 2000, but three years later the company that managed it, Ribera Salud, had to ask for help. Only managing the hospital was not profitable. The Generalitat, governed by the PP, increased the amount that it gave per capita and assigned it, in addition, primary care, which could encourage or discourage income and modulate work in the system. In March of this year the community regained control. The company states that this saves the savings of 25% of the cost of care. The Generalitat argues against.
That model was the most striking, but concerts exist in most communities, from Catalonia to Andalusia, govern who governs. In Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre inaugurated between 2006 and 2012 up to nine privately managed hospitals, which joined the flagship of this model in the community, the Jiménez Díaz Foundation. The accusations of extra cost have been continuous, and in the case of the latter, recent: on the 3rd of this month, Podemos denounced that the community could save 60 million by limiting the referral of patients to this center owned by Quironsalud.
Other cases that have muddied relations have been that of Boi Ruiz, Catalan Health Minister between 2010 and 2016 with Artur Mas (Convergència i Unió), who appointed Josep Prat as president of the Catalan Health Institute, coming from the private company ( as happened in Madrid with Antonio Burgueño, who developed the privatization plan for Aguirre after being promoter of the Alzira model and director of a private healthcare company).
Another type of clashes have occurred, for example, in Andalusia, such as the refusal of the hospital owned by a religious order where Inmaculada Echevarría was to disconnect the respirator that kept her alive against her will and forced to transfer the patient to a hospital. public to receive the attention to which he was entitled.
A few years before, in 2006, he had also put pressure on the Xunta by announcing that it would go to court if it did not pay the debt accumulated in the period 2000-2004 due to the "excess of quota". The hospital, which historically registers the longest waiting lists in Galicia, ensured that if it received more money it would end in 14 months with delays. The autonomic Government, chaired then by the socialist Emilio Pérez Touriño, paid. The waiting lists continued to grow.
In 2014 Feijóo signed the promised extension of the concert. His then Conselleria de Sanidade, Rocío Mosquera, director at the same time of the private group Nosa Terra, owner of the hospital, did it.
However, the company did not achieve the expected benefits. Two years after signing that extension, the hospital declared 7.1 million euros in losses and filed an administrative claim with Sergas to pay him 9.8 million euros for drugs.
Povisa is now asking for the pre-contest of creditors by clinging to a report written by "independent experts" that concludes that the losses recorded since 2014 amount to 42 million and are "exclusively" due to their activity in the public sector. The company maintains that Sergas bills it services that are not in its portfolio and ensures that it has progressively reduced the sending of patients to its reference areas (it has 137,000 of the 140,000 that it can assume) and alludes to the difficulties with which there are patients who want to go to their hospital.
The center has released a statement in which it blames the situation on the "harmful" reinterpretations that Sergas is making of the agreement and maintains that for months it has informed the Xunta of this. He claims that he does not intend to "win a single euro" with the public attention he considers "highly deficient for the hospital" but to achieve a financial balance that allows him to maintain his activity. And he assures that he has faced those losses by pulling the reserve fund derived from his private activity with insurers and private patients and because he has "25 years without distributing dividends" among his shareholders.
To the accusations of the company, Sergas responds by noting that the economic discrepancies mentioned by the private hospital were resolved in the courts that confirmed the criteria of the Xunta and points out that the terms of the concert are being "strictly" observed.
The new order of Povisa has not caught the workers by surprise. The CIG union says it expected the company to carry out "a new blackmail with the workers, threatening not to pay the contributions as a method to renegotiate an atypical and opaque agreement"; A similar excuse, he argues, for the ERE of 2010.
The opposition groups (En Marea, BNG and PSOE) are calling for an urgent audit of the company's accounts as well as those of the family group led by shipping entrepreneur José Silveira, president of the Nosa Terra group, "including the sicav declared by members of the same, "says the spokesman of the Marea de Vigo, Rubén Pérez. The Xunta, at the moment, is committed to dialogue.