San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Work begins on 15 new operating rooms at San Juan de Dios Hospital

With the blow of a hammer striking old operating-room walls, President Laura Chinchilla on Monday inaugurated the construction of 15 new operating rooms at San Juan de Dios Hospital, in downtown San José.

The Social Security System, or Caja, will invest ₡6.9 billion ($13.7 million) on this historic medical center, which on Tuesday celebrates its 167th birthday.

The project includes 2,400 square meters of construction, and is aimed at better serving the hospital’s coverage area, which includes 1.1 million residents.

In 2011, Chinchilla declared a health emergency at the hospital after the Health Ministry condemned 15 operating rooms due to deterioration and poor infrastructure.

Work is expected to be completed within a year, Chinchilla said.

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