Colombian Minister of Health Pledges that Construction Will Begin on a New Hospital in San Gil in 2017
Later this month, the Colombia’s Ministry of Health and Social Protection plans to formally issue a “technical guarantee” that a new hospital will be built in the department of Santander.
Minister of Health Alejandro Gaviria Uribe, during his trip to the area late last month, confirmed that the construction of a $10 million USD (30 billion pesos) regional hospital will be underway before the end of the year in San Gil, a small city known as an eco-sports hub due to the many rafting, hiking, and other outdoor excursions nearby. The project is being financed by government through the Ministry of Health.
Photo: Colombian Minister of Health Alejandro Gaviria Uribe (right) said the new hospital in Santander “will benefit 100,000 residents of 17 municipalities.” (Credit: Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection)
“On the one hand, it will benefit 100,000 residents of 17 municipalities,” said Gaviria Uribe during his visit of the University Hospital of Santander in the departmental capital Bucaramanga. “On the other, it will consolidate the region as an epicenter of tourism and local development.”
The minister also noted the fiscal challenges that have been facing the healthcare system in the area in recent years, noting that the University Hospital of Santander has worked hard to overcome such hurdles.
The other need he believes must be addressed is updating the tools and infrastructure available to local providers, which Gaviria Uribe said require improvements to their emergency rooms and specialized treatment ability in areas including neonatal intensive care units.
But despite remaining difficulties, Gaviria Uribe expressed his ongoing optimism about how much progress has already been made and what the new hospital can add to the local community. “What has happened in Santander in recent decades is a true economic and social miracle,” he said.