Celestino Darias, an emigrant from La Gomera in Candelaria, who is now 86 years old, has spent a good part of this century leading an incessant struggle to obtain a hospital for the elderly in the Güímar Valley. Determined in this, he visited the Parliament of the Canary Islands, the Cabildo and almost all the plenary sessions of the Candelaria City Council in pursuit of the creation of a health center for the elderly in the region. Today has to be a big day for him.
The president of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Pedro Martín, and the mayoress of Candelaria, Mari Brito, presented yesterday the collaboration agreement by which they will undertake this year the works of a new socio-sanitary center in Barranco Hondo, which will allow the number of places for attention to be expanded older people in the region. Also present at the signing ceremony were the Third Vice President and Minister for Social Action, Marián Franquet, and the Councilor for Social Affairs and Health Olivia Pérez.
The agreement, made through the Institute of Social and Socio-Health Care of Tenerife (IASS), contemplates a budget of 4.9 million euros for the construction and equipment of a new building in which, in a first phase, 62 will be enabled new places for dependents, 42 residential and 20 day centers.
Pedro Martín explained that this new center is the result of the work that the Cabildo de Tenerife has been carrying out to improve the care for the elderly that is provided on the Island. “This year we are going to launch several projects in the North, South and metropolitan area, which we have been preparing and negotiating over the years with the town halls, as is the case of Candelaria, which has given us the land to be able to carry out the new center, and which represent a significant investment and improvement of the quality of socio-sanitary care”, said the president.
For her part, Mari Brito stressed that this agreement “also shows the firm commitment of the IASS to draw up a second phase of the project, with which the number of places can be increased by 48, with which assistance will be reinforced and people from the municipality will not have to travel to the metropolitan area. This will greatly facilitate the lives of users and their families. We are very happy about this commitment, but also to be able to announce this first phase and the start of a work that means leaving no one behind”.
The mayor of Social Services, Olivia Pérez, acknowledged that “the demand is overwhelming and the waiting list continues to grow in the municipality.” Likewise, the Minister of Social Action, Marián Franquet, emphasized the collaboration shown by the town halls and the involvement of Candelaria, which has been essential to “facilitate people’s quality of life and gradually consolidate a network of social and health centers that attend both quantitative and qualitative needs of attention to citizens”. She recalled that the admission will be made by “rooting”, to avoid long journeys of day users or their families. In the coming days, the City Council will put out to tender the management of works, which will be followed in the coming months by the construction project of the new center, whose work will begin within a maximum period of nine months, and with an execution of 14 months. .
The Candelaria City Council will transfer to the IASS a plot of 5,074 square meters of urban land, in the Rubén Marichal urbanization, to carry out the works of the new center, which will have two floors and the necessary services to assume a future expansion. In this context, the agreement contemplates the drafting of the project for a second phase to create 78 more parking spaces, 48 residential and 30 daytime.
The Barranco Hondo center is part of the Socio-Health Infrastructure Plan co-financed by the Cabildo de Tenerife and the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands.