President Bachelet visits Antofagasta’s new “Leonardo Guzmán” Regional Hospital
This afternoon, the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, along with the ministers of Health, Carmen Castillo, and of Public Works, Alberto Undurraga, visited Antofagasta’s new “Leonardo Guzmán” Regional Hospital.
The new facility began operating on Thursday, November 2, 2017 with ambulatory care for patients and users and will gradually move all other medical services and support units from the existing hospital on Avenida Argentina by February.
President Bachelet said that “what is important today is that –just as we pledged 4 years ago- we have succeeded in bringing this tremendous project to completion, and we have ensured the proper implementation of the new hospital management system that guarantees the people what they deserve: decent, quality and timely care”.
The hospital will serve an estimated population of 400,000 people from the Region of Antofagasta (FONASA 2016 data). Given that the facility is also the referral center for high complexity healthcare for the Macro North Zone, the total beneficiary population is estimated to be more than a million people.
This project was executed under the Concession Model that included the construction of the building and the operation of 14 non-clinical services as part of the 21st Century Healthcare Concession. The construction work began during the last quarter of 2014.
The President emphasized, “this is how we committed ourselves to work towards strengthening public healthcare in our country, by investing more, modernizing equipment, increasing the numbers of doctors and specialists and improving and expanding the healthcare programs”.
She added, “we’ve achieved it. Just in terms of hospital infrastructure, we have finished building 21 hospitals, another 21 are under full construction and 16 are currently in the tender phase. So, we are talking about a historical investment that in this region alone includes this hospital and the one in Calama, which is also practically finished and that we visited recently”.
The investments that were made cover around US$216 million allocated for works and around US$412 million for medical equipment and furnishings.
In conclusion, the President referred to the changes that are being carried out in different areas, stating that “as a Government, we have initiated a process that we don’t want to stop, that will continue to improve quality of life and the opportunities of our young people, as long as we keep on working in the same direction. We all know that important changes, those that really have an impact on people, are a long-term undertaking”.