The governement's vicepresident, Oriol Junqueras, the Minister of Health, Antoni Comín and the manager of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Dr. Vicenç Martínez-Ibáñez, have presented the strategy to transform the Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus, committed to remain a leader in health and quality of life of people, adapting to the challenges of our society. The aim is to maintain leadership in care, research, teaching and innovation nationally and internationally, while achieving a modern Hospital Campus, integrated, sustainable and open to the city. Everything in order to, as the Minister Comín pointed, "eliminate hospital shantyism from Vall d'Hebron."

The transformation strategy involves four main areas: adapting spaces for future care requirements, enhancing the area of ​​knowledge, opening the environment and improving the public space of the enclosure and renovating buildings and facilities.

A new building for research
The first major intervention will provide the current Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) by 2019, with a new building to enhance its excellence. With a surface area of ​​5000 m2  expandable in two phases, the project envisages an investment of 15 million euros, partly financed with FEDER funds of the European Union already granted. The start of construction will be during the first quarter of next year (April), after closing the international architectural competition to appoint the team that will design the building. In this regard, there are already five architectural candidates which finalists. The winning proposal will be announced in May, so that in September the construction draft is available and in January 2018 tender the work. However, this architectural competition is also twofold, as a side project of this new building, the competition has also envisaged to received a first proposal for restructuring and  urban and landscape improvement of the entire Campus environment, so that it gains in accessibility, sustainability and comfort. 

Moving outpatient clinics
The second major action will provide Vall d'Hebron with a new space for outpatient clinics and other uses. The building will rise on an area of ​​30,000 m2, with a budget of 60 million euros by the Department of Health of the Generalitat. The planned period of implementation is 2018-2021. There will be 210 consultation rooms, 90 cabinets, 120 places for day hospital and 16 areas of imaging diagnostic. Thanks to its construction, the center will add a total of 379 consultation rooms, 73 more, 116 cabinets, 8 more, and 215 day hospital places, 49 new places. The options of location of this space will be discussed in the framework of a working group with the City Council of Barcelona.

From hospital to health park
One of the other most ambitious aspects of the transformation strategy of Vall d'Hebron is to turn it into a health park that, in a sustainable way, ends the congestion, facilitates internal traffic and is opened to patients and neighbours. To do this, an area of ​​131,000 m2 will be used, with an initial investment of 20 million euros contributed by the Department of Health. This project, which covers the years 2017-2022, forsees a gradual construction based on other interventions of the project.

Improving healthcare buildings
At the same time, master plans for the three hospitals that make up the current Hospital Campus will be worked on. A project that will count with a Health budget of 27 million euros and will become a continuous process of transformation to adapt spaces to changing times. The affected area is 45,000 m2 in the General Hospital, 25,000 m2 in the Maternity Hospital and 15,000 m2  in the Traumatology and Rehabilitation building.

The first projects to get underway are the new heliport of the centre and the outpatient consultantion rooms of the Maternity Hospital, the Emergency rooms for Rehabilitation and Traumatology and the entrances to the building and the hospital wards of the General Hospital.

A necessary, beneficial and realistic project
The Minister of Health said that the work will be huge in impact and benefit for professionals and patients, but it will not be in the budget of the Generalitat. In this regard, the announced investments are acceptable, realistic and consistent with the current investment pace and budget. Comín also highlighted the needs that this referent hospital in Catalonia has. "This centre can not continue working like this because it influences the quality of care. Outpatient consultation rooms can not continue being in prefabricated modules, so improving their capacity we will make that their job more excellent," said Comín. As for Health minister, the new research building at VHIR will attract talent, patronage, and more powerful international alliances, even more than the current ones, as placing the rooftop heliport  in the Traumatology building will gain in efficiency."The development of plans will impact positively on the quality of care. In fact, all actions will mean improved care and research," summarized the minister.

For his part, the government's vice-president and Minister of Economy and Finance, Oriol Junqueras, has highlighted the efforts of professionals and patients in the hospital every day, highlighting also the same effort and responsibility of the government "to give you the best tools to work through the budget for 2017".

The manager of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, said that the with presentation of this project "the new Vall d'Hebron begins today." "We are an excellent hospital with many specialties and one of the three with more clinical trials in Europe," he said before expressing the need for the hospital in the future to remain a social hub open to people, not only an enclosure, which promotes an integrated health care. "The patient must be comfortable but also the professional who devotes his life. We are a public service, we feel it that way, but the infrastructure must accompany us," has stressed Martínez Ibáñez.  

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