Inca will have its hospital by the year 2006 it was announced yesterday, as the government and the town council signed the deeds under which the land on which it will be built has been ceded to the health ministry. The government hopes to negotiate with the construction firm which wins the contract to reduce the time of work to 36 months. Government spokesman Antoni Garcies, health minister Aina Salom and Mayor of Inca Pere Rotger yesterday signed the deed for the 55'000 square metres plot of land, the last step needed to enable work to start. Salom took advantage of the occasion to criticise the central government for its attitude towards the Inca hospital, which had been more or less shelved until the local government took over the health service at the beginning of the year. She said that Madrid never accepted the land and did not assign any funds for the construction of the hospital. Mayor Rotger said that it was an historical day for Inca, adding that the council would work side by side with the ministry to convert the hospital into a reality. Salom said that her department planned to introduce a series of changes to the plans for the hospital which it inherited from Insalud, the national health service. These include making the casualty ward and outpatients' department bigger. But, she said, these changes will be made while work is in progress, so that the project will not be slowed down. The Balearic government will spend more than 32 million euros on the construction of the hospital which will provide a service for the 102'000 persons living in the Inca area, and help take the strain off Son Dureta in Palma. The new hospital will have 126 beds, a heliport, four operating theatres, a dialysis room and rehabilitation service. It will also have 30 specialists.

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