A list and 22 names separated from each other by a line. And a title, in bold, capital letters and underlined in yellow: “NEW CENTERS”. At 9:53 a.m. on February 14, 2020, Isabel Díaz Ayuso He posted a photo on his Twitter account., accompanied by a brief message. “The 22 new health centers of the Community of Madrid will be located here.” Then, the networks were filled with responses accusing the president of making propaganda, because 14 of them had already been announced in previous legislatures, some even more than a decade ago. Almost three years later and four months after the elections, the post it has circulated again: none of the promised clinics has yet been inaugurated.
The list could be divided into four categories: centers already built, but not in operation; those who already have a works contract awarded; those that will be tendered in 2023; and those that are not yet a project. According to the Community budgets, for this year, only one of the clinics is almost ready, the Navalcarnero II. In the Madrid municipality, 33 kilometers from the capital and with 31,379 inhabitants, there is already a health center, built in 1985, but the promise of a new one came for the first time in 2003. Three years later, the then Minister of Health , Manuel Lamela, participated in the act of laying the first stone of the building. The only one that was on until November 2020 the construction contract was awarded to the company Tableros y Puentes SA for 2,668,535.84 euros. The name of the center still does not appear even in Google, except if the word future is added in front.
According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, “the delays that may have occurred are due to the fact that 3 years of pandemic have passed since February 2020.” It also points out that since 2019 six new health centers have been opened in the region -although without confirming if any of them are on the list published by Ayuso-, that another four are going to be opened and that there are six underway and another 11 They are going to bid this year.
There are two other clinics on the list that are also built and fall into the category of “expected completion of the works” for 2023, although the budgets do not specify when. They are Parque Oeste, in Alcorcón, and Las Tablas, in the Fuencarral-El Pardo district. The latter was already included in the plan to improve the Primary Care network between 2015 and 2019, and in March of that year The Community of Madrid approved an item of 10.1 million euros for its construction, by the company Tragsa. Although the investment that appears in the note published in December 2022 for this center is 5.8 million. The Las Tablas neighborhood association already requested by letter an urgent meeting with the Primary Care management a little over two months ago. “We request information on the completion and start-up of the health center, 40 months and still under construction,” he wrote on social networks.
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Ángela Hernández, general secretary of Amyts, indicates by telephone that for the union the shortage of health centers is one more factor on which to act to improve Madrid Primary Care: “Generating expectations, but not meeting them, is something that must be explained by the Government of the Community of Madrid and it would be desirable for a firm commitment to be made to comply and not just to announce”. Hernández explains that if these clinics “were a reality”, the possibility of reducing the excess demand for care in extra shifts “would be more credible”. “Right now it is not possible in some centers due to space difficulties, whether or not there are volunteers from the deficient categories to carry it out,” she adds.
The works in the next four on the list ―Montecarmelo, Barrio Hospital-Fuenlabrada, Residencial Este Parla, and Butarque, where the residents have been waiting for a center for almost 15 years― are scheduled for 2023, according to the budgets, which contemplate an item of 34 .6 million euros for health infrastructures in Primary Care. The work contract for all of them was awarded between May and November of last year, and the total investment amounts to 26.5 million euros (amount obtained after the sum of the bidding budgets for each clinic, which are detailed in the public procurement portal of the Community of Madrid). According to the note published by the regional governmentthe final investment is much lower: 15.2 million.
“The plot [del centro de Butarque] It has been on loan since 2009. More than 15 years have passed since the first promise. It’s a shame that we continue like this,” criticizes the president of the neighborhood’s neighborhood association, located in the Villaverde district, by phone. Nearly 21,000 people live in the area, according to the statistical portal of the City Council, and many have to go to the Los Rosales clinic, half an hour’s walk away, when they have a medical problem. “It is very saturated, especially in pediatrics, because this neighborhood is newly built and there are many children. We have been like this for years and in a pandemic it was crazy ”, says the neighbor. A couple of weeks ago, the association announced mobilizations to demand that construction begin -they have been organizing them for years-, and days later the Community of Madrid put up the start of work sign.
The remaining 13 outpatient clinics have pending the authorization of the tender ―PAU4 Móstoles, Valdemoro III, Campo de Tiro (Leganés), Pinto II and Dehesa Vieja (San Sebastián de los Reyes)―, or do not even have the previous project and study yet. , as is the case of the centers of Barrio de la Luna (Rivas), Ensanche Sur-Alcorcón, El Cañaveral, Ensanche de Vallecas II, Valdebebas, Valderribas, Soto del Henares (Torrejón de Ardoz) and Cerro de los Gamos (Pozuelo) . There are only two clinics that do not appear in the budgets, the Simancas and the Méndez Álvaro, both promised on more than one occasion.
Among the responses to Ayuso’s announcement on Twitter, one of the residents of Ensanche de Vallecas posted a photo of the empty lot where the future health center will be built. He published it on January 31 at 11:06 in the morning. Four and a half hours later, he uploaded a second photo to the social network. This time, on the fence that surrounds the land, the Community of Madrid had placed a “next construction” sign with the estimated budget for the tender and the work period: 8,268,764.40 euros and 18 months. “A few hours after my Tweet, They have put this sign on the plot. It seems that he was prepared. They have the little shame to put an “estimated” budget. That is to say, it is neither tendered nor budgeted for. Isabel Díaz Ayuso begins the electoral campaign ”, wrote the user.
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