A few minutes past noon, the president arrived via helicopter, landing on a property that until a few months ago belonged to the National Production Council (CNP, in Spanish).
Chinchilla stated that the CNP will be transferring the 15 hectare property to “Hacienda” (Treasury Department), for payment of an outstanding debt. Hacienda will then transfer the land to the Costa Rican Social Security System (CCSS), to be the future site of a new hospital in Puntarenas.
Ileana Balmaceda, president of the CCSS, explained that the process has only just begun; as such, it is still “premature to mention any terms”, as building a hospital is “complex.” However, she says that the planning process for the new hospital is already underway.
The President is expecting to sign a $100 million loan with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE, in Spanish) to cover the cost of construction. She has also asked CCSS authorities to guarantee an “expedited” job in the planning, design, and “possible” construction of the hospital before her administration is over.
The existing CCSS hospital in Puntarenas was severely damaged during the earthquake that rocked Costa Rica on September 5th. Even before the earthquake, however, many readers have told Inside Costa Rica of the poor conditions found at the hospital.