Zara founder spends €29.4m on cancer diagnostic gear for Valencia hospitals

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INDITEX founder and Spain’s richest man Amancio Ortega has just donated €29.4 million to Valencia regional health authorities to spend on cancer treatment and diagnostic equipment.

The tycoon’s eponymous foundation has so far set aside €300m for oncology departments across Spain, of which €46.5m was given to the Greater Madrid regional health authority in 2017.

Valencia regional president Ximo Puig says the generous gift would ‘improve patients’ lives’ and ‘save thousands of lives’, since employing the latest technology in medicine is strongly implicated in treatment and diagnostic success.

Thanking the high-street fashion boss for his ‘social responsibility’, Puig recalled that in the Comunidad Valenciana – a region on the east coast about the size of Wales, comprising the provinces of Alicante, Valencia and Castellón – around 23,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed every year.

The fact that the €29.4m will be spent on equipment in hospitals across the entire region means it will be available to all cancer patients, with no ‘postcode privilege’, Puig explains.

This equipment comes in 14 batches, which include CAT scanners and PET scanners – the latter being the most detailed, and expensive, scanning technique currently available – plus 11 digital mammogram machines, seven MRI machines, four update installations for mammogram machines, and eight linear accelerators, all of which will improve accuracy of diagnosis.

Hospitals set to receive equipment include La Fe, Clínico, Doctor Peset and Arnau de Vilanova in Valencia, plus the district hospitals in Requena, Alzira, Sagunto, Ontinyent, Gandia, Burjassot and Xàtiva (Valencia province), Alcoi, Benidorm, Orihuela, Sant Joan, Elche (Alicante province) and Alicante General Hospital, and Vinaròs (Castellón province) plus Castellón General Hospital.

The Amancio Ortega Foundation, starting three years ago, set itself the goal of updating diagnostic equipment in oncology departments in every region in Spaìn.

Inditex is the umbrella firm which covers Zara and Zara Home, its most exportable brands, plus budget fashion chains Stradivarius, Bershka, Lefties and Pull & Bear, underwear store Oysho, and mid-upper high-street labels Massimo Dutti and Uterqüe.