On Sunday, the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, visited the first modular hospital built to treat coronavirus patients. It is located next to the Sótero del Río hospital in the Santiago district of Puente Alto and has added 100 additional beds to the healthcare network.
"The great advantage of being able to set up modular hospitals in the Metropolitan Region, which is where we have the greatest need and demand for critical care beds, is that it means we can avoid moving patients and we can care for them as close as possible to their homes and families,” the President said. He was speaking during his visit to the site together with Health Minister Jaime Mañalich, Healthcare Networks Undersecretary Arturo Zúñiga, and the Mayor of Puente Alto, Germán Codina.
This is the first of five modular hospitals that will be installed to meet the increased demand on the healthcare network. They will expand its capacity by providing a total of 500 additional beds.
The facilities adjoining the Sótero del Río Hospital comprise 10 modules with 10 beds in each, connected by a central corridor. They have thermal insulation and panels separating the clinical and support areas.
The modular hospital required an investment of US$13.7 million and will add 100 inpatient beds in an area covering 1,500 m2. The clinical support areas include a nursing area, a pharmacy, a food reception room, a dining room with a living room, a bedroom, an office, a meeting room, a laundry and 5 bathroom modules.
The hospital will be fully operational in June and will care for adult patients referred from other hospitals and those requiring basic care. Each module will have a health team comprising 6 doctors, 9 nurses and 4 physiotherapists per shift, plus senior nursing technicians, and ancillary and administrative staff.
“I want to recognize, appreciate, value and express my thanks for the work that is being done by our doctors, nurses, ancillary and health staff during these difficult times for our country,” the President highlighted.
The remaining four modules will be situated alongside base hospitals in the health services of Coquimbo, Concepción, the southern Araucanía Region and the southern Metropolitan Region. These are the Barros Luco Trudeau Modular Hospital adjoining the Barros Luco Trudeau Hospital in San Miguel in the Metropolitan Region; the Temuco Modular Hospital adjoining the Dr. Hernán Henríquez Aravena Temuco Regional Hospital in the Araucanía Region; the Coquimbo Modular Hospital adjoining the San Pablo de Coquimbo Hospital in the Coquimbo Region; and the Concepción Modular Hospital adjoining the Guillermo Grant Benavente de Concepción Hospital in the Biobío Region.
In order to address the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government has planned to increase the number of inpatient beds in the national healthcare network from 38,000 to 42,000.
"We must be committed to providing solutions, and we must work together as one, as one people standing together shoulder to shoulder,” concluded the President.