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Computer hacking accusations at Torrevieja Hospital on Spain’s Costa Blanca as private company says regional government ‘stole files’

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THE private company that manages Torrevieja Hospital has complained to the Guardia Civil about a computer hack allegedly committed by the Valencian Health Ministry.

The hospital and Torrevieja Health Department has been run by Ribera Salud since 2007 but returns to public management this Saturday(October 16).

The Ribera accusation is the latest in a series of angry spats with the Valencian government.

The regional administration announced last year that they would not be renewing the company’s franchise to run health services in the Torrevieja area, which has not gone down well with Ribera.

In a statement, Ribera Salud said that its cybersecurity department detected ‘irregular access to its computer system last Friday(October 8) with confidential files and information viewed by unauthorised personnel’.

It claimed the ‘hack’ came from the newly-created department of the Commissioner of the Department of Health for Torrevieja Hospital.

Ribera has complained to both the Guardia Civil and the Valencian Health Ministry, and has demanded an investigation.

The company’s statement continued: “Given the seriousness of the events denounced and the seriousness of the issue due to the connotations it could have and the scope of the people involved, we will refrain from further comment until the end of the police and judicial investigation.”

The Health Ministry commented: “ We have a single objective which is to guarantee continuity of care and improve services for the 180,000 residents in the Torrevieja health area”.

“We have kept to the legal framework of the franchise contract at all times, which obliges the contract holder to deliver the health service in the appropriate conditions and provide the necessary information to guarantee citizens the right to continue receiving health care in the best conditions and without loss of care,” the statement continued.

“There are some requirements that the company(Ribera Salud) has repeatedly ignored,” the Health Ministry concluded.

Valencian Health Minister, Ana Barcelo, said last week that access to ‘information was being prevented’ which could impact the ‘continuity of patient care’ from October 16.

READ MORE:- PRIVATE MANAGERS OF TORREVIEJA HOSPITAL WARN OF PUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONSEQUENCES

TORREVIEJA AREA HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO BE PUBLICLY RUN FROM OCTOBER

Photo Credit: Ribera Salud

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Appointment-free COVID-19 vaccinations starting next week in Costa Blanca area of Spain

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MASS vaccination centres in the Valencian Community will offer ‘drop-in’ COVID-19 inoculations from next Tuesday(September 7).

Valencian Health Minister, Ana Barcelo, announced the news today in the regional parliament, Les Corts.

Other Spanish regions started offering the appointment-free service last month, but the Valencian region did not immediately follow suit at its 133 centres.

Ana Barcelo said: “We will run this process through to October at which time the vaccination campaign will be complete and we will close the mass vaccination centres.”

Barcelo appealed to anybody who had so far not been vaccinated to do so ‘as soon as possible’.

She said that 7.1 million doses had so far been given and that only 52,000 people had refused an injection.

“I ask them to please get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and everybody,” appealed Barcelo.

60% of hospitalisations for COVID-19 feature patients that have not been fully immunised and that rises to 82.5% for ICU admissions

“No one is safe from being infected, “ commented Barcelo.

The minister added that figures of 163 cases per 100,000 people in the Valencian Community were ‘among the lowest’ in Spain.

Current health restrictions end this Monday at 11.59 pm with ministers meeting earlier that day to decide on what changes they’ll make.

READ MORE THIRD COVID-19 VACCINE SHOTS COMING TO VALENCIAN COMMUNITY

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Lower infections and hospital admissions but ‘nothing decided’ over September COVID-19 restrictions in Costa Blanca area of Spain

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THE Valencian government will wait until the last minute before deciding on COVID-19 restrictions to replace current measures which end on September 6.

Health Minister, Ana Barcelo, said today(August 27) that there was no single ‘draft’ plan but all options were being looked at for ‘a gradual de-escalation’ of measures from September 7.

The trend this month has seen much lower coronavirus infection rates with only Asturias and the Canary Islands doing better.

Hospital admissions for COVID-19 are well below the national average and 74.8% of the Valencian population has been fully-immunised.

Ana Barcelo said: “Everything depends on where we are on September 4 or 5 because the scenarios are changing and if we made a decision now, it would probably involve greater restrictions than in a week’s time.”

There are 68 municipalities in the Valencian Community with night curfews and the government would have to show its hand by the middle of next week over extending or changing the list.

That’s because it needs to get Valencian Supreme Court approval for the curfews to continue.

“It is the most drastic measure, but it also has one of the greatest effects to lower infection rates,” Barcelo stressed.

In spite of what the minister said, there are no actual statistics to support that claim, which has been challenged by curfew opponents.

Other restrictions to be reviewed include the number of people that can meet and hospitality hours in addition to nightlife businesses forced to shut at 12.30 am.

Barcelo said that she is ‘studying’ proposals sent to her by hospitality and nightlife associations.

Some associations have lodged a legal challenge over the severity of the restrictions.

“We understand their plight which is why we have offered financial aid, but we have to have the conditions where they operate fully in a safe environment, “ added Barcelo.

READ MORE COSTA BLANCA NIGHTLIFE BUSINESSES BLAME VALENCIAN GOVERNMENT FOR ‘SUMMER DISASTER’

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