In keeping with strict health regulations and in order to encourage teleworking, the President connected remotely to speak with Lorenzo Soto, the director of the new Dr. Antonio Tirado Lanas Hospital. President Piñera welcomed the opening of the healthcare center, which is one of the new hospital projects set to strengthen Chile’s healthcare network. It will benefit more than 200,000 people in the Limarí province and neighboring areas in the Coquimbo region.
The complex is part of the government’s US$10 billion Healthcare Investment Plan to improve the population’s access to healthcare. It includes opening 25 new hospitals, with 25 others under construction and another 25 projects scheduled to begin before 2022.
“The opening of this hospital is a great moment. It is part of an initiative to bring forward the opening of five new hospitals in Chile, which will provide us with another 1,700 beds for addressing the Coronavirus emergency,” said President Piñera. He was speaking during a video conference call, in which he was accompanied by the Health Minister, Jaime Mañalich.
With a surface area of 41,000m2, Ovalle’s new Hospital is twice the size of the old healthcare center, which was built in 1970 and measured just 15,000m2. The center has better technology and equipment, making it possible to do more complex exams, like CT scans and mammograms, without the need to go to another city as currently happens.
The hospital has 217 beds and 7 operating theaters, as well as a dialysis unit with 12 chairs for people with chronic kidney failure.
The total investment in infrastructure and equipment totaled more than 98 billion pesos.
In order to protect the health of Chileans during the Coronavius COVID-19 pandemic, the government decided to take measures to protect the population by expanding the healthcare network to meet hospitalization needs. In that context, the five hospitals that were under construction throughout Chile are being opened ahead of schedule. Together, they will contribute an additional 1,700 beds.
The Hospital in Ovalle is part of this commitment, along with Hospital Félix Bulnes in the Metropolitan region; Hospital Gustavo Fricke in Viña del Mar in the Valparaíso region; and the hospitals in Padre Las Casas and Angol in the Araucanía region. They are being opened urgently so that they will be available to serve patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile.