San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Hospital San Juan de Dios opens 5 temporary operating rooms

San Juan de Dios Hospital on Monday opened five makeshift operating rooms to treat patients while the hospital renovates 15 operating rooms condemned by the Health Ministry last March. Health Ministry inspectors said the old operating rooms had structural and hygienic problems, including exposed electrical wiring and ceilings in poor condition. Other problems included gas leaks and improper disposal of medical waste.

The new rooms are located in the San José hospital’s patient recovery area and have been approved by the Health Ministry.

Hospital director Hilda Oreamuno told the daily La Nación that the new operating rooms will receive patients waiting for complex procedures, including liver transplants and other specialized surgeries. Some patients will be sent to other locations, including the National Rehabilitation Center and the Heredia Hospital, north of San José, which have been assisting San Juan de Dios since last March.

San Juan de Dios will also continue collaborating with the public community health clinic managed by the Social Security System (Caja) in Puriscal, southwest of San José, where outpatient surgeries are referred.

The new operating rooms are scheduled to be completed by April of next year at a cost of $5.3 million. They will be used 24 hours a day. Hospital San Juan de Dios treats 663,000 patients directly each year, plus 224,000 patients indirectly at clinics. More than 10,000 patients are waiting for medical surgery.

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