LA PAZ – Bolivia’s Ministry of Health and the Spanish firm Makiber signed a contract on Thursday to build the Andean nation’s first hospital specialized in digestive diseases, a project with a $100-million price tag.
The hospital, which will be located in La Paz, is expected to be inaugurated in three years, Bolivian President Evo Morales said during the signing event.
Morales said that the hospital, to be named the Gastroenterological Institute, is part of a $2-billion government project to build 49 hospitals throughout the country.
The president recalled Bolivia’s need for specialized physicians and hospitals, saying that the project’s goal is that Bolivians will no longer need to travel to neighboring countries for certain types of medical attention.
In the future, “our neighbors may even travel to Bolivia to get medical care,” Morales said.
Bolivia’s minister of health, Rodolfo Rocabado, said that the new hospital will help train specialists for other hospitals and allow physicians to carry out research on digestive diseases affecting the esophagus, the stomach, the liver, the pancreas, and the intestine.
The hospital will be built under a turn-key contract, meaning that Makiber will build the hospital and hand it over in fully operational form.