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Asturias healthcare upgrades with robotic surgery

The public healthcare system in Asturias is set to receive a significant upgrade this week, as the Servicio de Salud del Principado (Sespa) begins installing two new robotic surgery systems. These advanced systems, known as the Da Vinci Xi, will revolutionize surgical procedures in the region, providing a high-definition 3D view that allows for greater precision and safety.

The installation process will begin early this week, with both systems being set up at the Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA) and the Hospital de Cabueñes. Once the systems have been calibrated, medical professionals at both hospitals will begin an on-site training period, during which they will learn how to operate the advanced robotic surgical systems.

The first surgical procedures using the Da Vinci Xi systems are expected to take place at the end of the week, with the urology departments at both hospitals performing the initial surgeries. With the systems translating the movements of the surgeon’s hands into literal impulses transmitted to the robot’s arms, these machines will be able to reach previously inaccessible areas inside the patient’s body, providing a level of surgical precision never before possible.

The total cost of the two Da Vinci Xi systems is €13.6 million, with funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER). This investment is set to significantly enhance the healthcare capabilities of the Asturias region, providing patients with access to some of the most advanced surgical procedures available.

While the installation of the robotic surgery systems represents a significant step forward for the region’s healthcare system, there are still issues to be addressed. A new agreement aimed at improving the retributive conditions of healthcare professionals in the Sespa will be formalized today, with €23.6 million in funding set aside for salary increases.

However, not all healthcare workers are satisfied with the current state of affairs. A group of nurses, TCAEs (formerly known as auxiliaries), and hospital aides have expressed their dissatisfaction with the conditions under which they work. Today, they will hold a protest at the HUCA, presenting the results of a survey conducted among 899 healthcare professionals that found 65.5% believe that their current working conditions do not allow them to provide high-quality care. The survey also found that 72.7% of respondents believe a change in management is needed, with 44.6% expressing total dissatisfaction with their working conditions and another 35% saying they are simply unhappy.