From 15 February, getting sick will now come with at least one bonus, patients in the province´s hospitals will be able to enjoy free TV in their rooms.
For the past 9 years patients have had to subscribe to use the service, although a few free channels were available, but from February the service will be free.
The benefits are that patients will, on average, save 24 euro on their stay, based on a six-day period of televisual entertainment.
Some of the money paid to the service went towards the maintenance, but the regional health body is in the process of drafting a document to renew and modernise the older televisions.
Major hospitals like Alicante General have around 450 televisions in use.
However, not all the local hospitals will offer the free service as those run by private entities will be free to change their rules as they are now.
According to the department of health, converting the service free of charge will cost more than 1.2 million euro per year in the twenty directly managed health departments of the Community, totalling 7,400 beds. The calculation is made from a unit price per team of 300 euro between the costs of replacement, amortization and the necessary maintenance.
Patients have considered it unfair that they had to pay for TV in the past, and don´t understand how or why the hospitals should be making money, especially as many of the patients are elderly and it is the only form of distraction they get whilst in hospital.
Patient groups point out that even prisoners get free TV.