The General Hospital in Palma and the Joan March Hospital off the Valldemossa road just outside the capital, are to be installed with solar panels to help heat water and reduce energy costs. An accord was signed yesterday by the Balearic Ministers for Health, Environment and Energy giving the project the green light and funding to the sum of an estimated 20 million pesetas. The Joan March Hospital will have the solar energy systems fitted this year and the General Hospital is due to be equipped with the energy-saving devices next year. The exact cost of installing the sysytems is yet to be confirmed, but the Ministry for Environment will meet 60 per cent of installation costs at Joan March, with the Ministry for Health covering the rest, and in the case of the General Hospital, costs will be shared 50-50. The Minister for Health, Aina Salom, said yesterday that apart from the two intiatives being money and energy-saving projects, the aim is to “encourage energy users to seriously consider the benefits of solar power.” Salom said that energy and gas company GESA had carried out an initial costing for installation at the Joan March Hospital, and reached a figure of seven million pesetas. The Health Minister also said that the Psychiatric Hospital in Palma has not been included at this stage because it is currently being reformed, but it may be brought into the programme in the future.

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