The Board of Directors of the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS or Caja) decided to intervene starting December 27 at Nicoya’s Hospital de La Anexión for administrative mismanagement that has developed. Therefore there will be a transfer of the medical and financial directors to other venues in order to establish another work team for a year or more, according to the needs of the institution.
This directive was recommended by the institution’s Medical Management, which used an internal audit report that brought to light the weaknesses of the second most important hospital in Guanacaste province, which looks after the health of some 250,000 people in the peninsular zone.
With the agreement, the medical director, Dr. Juan Jose Li Kam, was transferred to the Area of Health in ??Santa Cruz, while the administrative financial director Alvaro Rosales Canales will now work in the Area of Health in ??Puntarenas. Meanwhile, the new intervention team will be led by Dr. Jorge Fonseca Renault, instead of Li Kam, and Marco Antonio Calvo Barquero will be the administrative financial director.
An old acquaintance
Dr. Fonseca has already served as director of the Hospital de La Anexión between 1987 and 1989. He has a vast resume, highlights of which include a major in Health Services Administration from the University of Costa Rica, a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis in Health from the Central American Institute of Public Administration (ICAP), he worked in the Planning Division of the CCSS, and he was director of the Chorotega Regional Division and San Vicente of Paul Hospital in Heredia.
According to Dr. Maria Eugenia Villalta, CCSS medical manager, the decision aims to give new direction to the medical center and adapt to the present and future needs of the Nicoyan community as soon as possible; with an end to waiting lists in surgeries, consultations, better treatment of the insured by personnel and maximizing financial resources to make good use of the annual budget given by the institution.
It will not be privatized
Speculation on the streets of Nicoya canton, mainly among union and community leaders, was that the hospital would be privatized in the coming months, which even led to the development of protest movements. In the light of this situation, VON spoke with CEO of the CCSS Dr. Ileana Balmaceda, who totally denied this would happen.
“That version circulating in the Nicoya canton is false. Contrary to that we are in the process of strengthening the hospital. First, with the earthquake we changed all of the roof tiles that had been distorted by the quake; after that we have this improvement project that is ready to go with the new hospital tower. Now we are improving management," said the chief.
Meanwhile, in terms of the number of medical plazas and so on, Balmaceda was clear in saying that hand in hand with the expansion of infrastructure will come an increase in the number of staff because there will be more services, an increased building area, and then these places will require medical nursing assistants, technicians, janitors, etc., which will take effect when the project is operating.
$35 million over four years
Currently, the CCSS maintains the bidding process for the construction of a modern hospital tower in the Nicoya Hospital with an investment of $35 million (17,500 million colones) over a period of four years, between 2013 and 2017, which also includes the refurbishment of the entire medical center today, except the Emergency Area (new building) and Maintenance.
There will also be a total renovation of the electromechanical systems, and the new five-story tower, with a construction size of 8,722 square meters, will house the services of General Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics and Neonatology, and the Administrative Area. According to architect Gabriela Murillo Jenkins, manager of infrastructure and technology at CCSS, next May the bidding will be defined in order to start with the work.
Finally, engineer Jorge Granados, director of the Architecture and Engineering Division (ICD), said that once construction starts the hospital will not cease operations, but will continue to work normally, without affecting services.
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