Part of the infrastructure investment that the current administration under President Ricardo Martinelli is planning is in healthcare. The Ministry of Health is now already to opened for bidding process for five new turnkey hospitals to be built in the interior of the country.
The five turnkey hospital project is valued at $386 million. Some 51 companies are interested in bidding for this project and nearly half of them are Panamanian, the rest are foreign companies. The five hospitals to be built are in Colón, Chiriquí, Darien, Los Santos and Veraguas. Statistics issued by the Health Ministry indicate that there is a 30 year gap between the level of health care in the capital city and that of the interior. Most specialists are in Panama City as are the best hospitals, or private practice. The current situation is that for cases requiring special equipment and specialists the patient is transported from the interior to Panama for medical attention. These five hospitals are intended to close this breach in level of health care outside of the capital city.
The project is for the study, design, building, equipping and financing the five new hospitals. The planned investment of $386 million shall be divided into a General Hospital for Meteti, Darien estimated at $43 million, the Specialty Hospital Anita Moreno in Los Santos with an estimated value of $70 million, Luis Chico Fabrega Hospital in Veraguas at $107 million. The additional funding for Manuel Amador Guerrero Hospital in Colón is $130 million and the General Hospital in Bugaba, Chiriqui for $36 million. Some of these hospitals already exist but must be renovated and modernized in terms of infrastructure, equipment and various other up grades. Companies may bid for one, several or all of the projects.
This proposal is for best value for the money and therefore the proposals shall be evaluated based on certain percentages such as 15% for economic stability, 25% for experience, 30% for quality and technical capacity. There is also a factor of 30% for price. The proposals shall be evaluated by a commission and once the project is awarded to the winner or winners, they shall have 36 months to deliver the project. Some of the companies interested in bidding already have experience in working with the Panamanian government in huge projects, such as Norberto Odebrecht, Impreglio and Consultores Profesionales de Ingeniería, S.A. (COPISA).
The tour of the sites have already been completed as for the evaluations needed to be familiar with the areas that shall be demolished and rebuilt in order to tailor such a proposal.
The building and remodeling of these hospitals is one step in the right direction for ramping up health care in the interior of the country, however these hospitals need to be staffed and there is also a deficit of specialists who wish to relocate to the interior. The Ministry of Health is already working on a plan to obtain some of the specialists needed for these new hospitals.
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