The Canarian Health Service (SCS) has now temporarily halted the transfers of individuals still occupying beds in public hospitals despite having been medically discharged, to the innovative new transit facility on Gran Canaria meant “to temporarily solve the social problem they are facing.” The decision came after the mayor of Mogán, where one of these centres is located, La Alcaldesa O.Bueno, labeled it as illegal, leading the City Council to initiate disciplinary proceedings for converting tourist apartments into healthcare facilities.

In response to these concerns, the Regional government of The Canary Islands Councillor for Health, Esther Monzón, has ordered a temporary suspension of these transfers until the situation regarding the residential use of the land has been clarified, as raised by the mayor of Mogán.

The SCS reiterated on Thursday that the centre complies with regulations for providing this type of care. In this case, it accommodates individuals who do not receive this service in a public centre due to a lack of available spaces, an issue that falls under the responsibility of Canary Islands’ Social Welfare and the island cabildos.

The new centre, located in Mogán, received approval for healthcare use from the SCS Accreditation and Concert Units.

SCS sources consulted by Spanish news agency EFE emphasised that this is a transit resource, endorsed by a joint order from the Departments of Social Welfare and Health, approved in March 2022, aimed at temporarily addressing a social problem faced by individuals who, for any reason, cannot return home after being hospitalised for a health issue.

These are individuals who have been discharged but continue to occupy hospital beds, even though they no longer have a medical condition that justifies it, meaning they are no longer patients of the SCS.

The joint order regulates the transfer of individuals with medical discharges to a transit resource until they secure a permanent spot in a sociosanitary care centre, according to the sources.

The SCS explained the transfers in response to newspaper reports on Thursday, where the mayor of Mogán, O.Bueno, described the move as “illegal” as she believes that the transit resource to which at least 22 elderly individuals, who had been occupying acute care beds, have been transferred does not meet the required conditions.

According to Bueno, this operation violates municipal planning because sociosanitary use is not permitted in tourist areas, prompting the Town Council to open disciplinary proceedings against the company that converted the former tourism apartments into such a facility.