“The systems back then were different and weren’t as computerized as they are now,” Alba said, offering assurances it couldn’t happen again.
The newborns were mixed up in 2002 after being born five hours apart at a hospital in La Rioja. They were both in incubators because they were born underweight.
The woman, now 19, who first discovered she had been given to the wrong parents is demanding compensation of 3 million euros ($3.5 million) from local health authorities.
Alba, the health chief, spoke after the local newspaper La Rioja published a report Tuesday about the switch.
The other woman who was handed to the wrong parents has been informed of the mistake, the newspaper said. Neither woman was identified.