Boss under fire resigns from criticized Torrevieja hospital on Spain’s Costa Blanca

THE head of Torrevieja’s health department, Pilar Santos, has resigned just over a year after returning to public management.

Ribera Salud’s contract to manage local health services, including Torrevieja Hospital, ended on October 15, 2021.

Since then, wait times at the hospital’s emergency department have skyrocketed with staffing issues across the hospital amid patient complaints – as previously reported by the Olive press.

Santos’ leadership has been criticized by unions, political parties (particularly the Partido Popular) and health lobbies, with frequent calls for his resignation.

His departure follows a list of managerial resignations in his department over the past 12 months.

Valencian Health Minister Miguel Minguez conveyed his “sincere thanks” to Santos “for the great efforts made during the year in very complex conditions”.


The Valencian authorities have pointed out that in the first year of public management, the workforce has increased from 1,212 to 1,889 people.

Santos will be replaced by Jose Cano, head of public health for the health departments of Orihuela and Torrevieja since 2003.

Cano takes over as a report indicates that emergency room wait times at Torrevieja hospital are almost four times the national average.

Consumer organization OCU puts the national figure at 52 minutes while it hits 199 minutes in Torrevieja.

The maximum average waiting time is 415 minutes in Torrevieja compared to 199 minutes in the other public hospitals in the Valencian Community.


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