• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Government declares health emergency at San Juan de Diós Hospital

March 17, 2011

President Laura Chinchilla declared a health emergency Tuesday at the San Juan de Diós Hospital in San José due to the deterioration of 15 operating rooms.

Chinchilla decided to close rooms at Costa Rica’s oldest hospital, which was built in 1845, after receiving a report from Health Minister Maria Luisa Avila that cited serious structural deterioration, according to the daily La Nación.

“After that we decided it was best to declare the emergency,” Avila told the paper.

Six of the operating rooms were shut down last week. The rest will be closed in upcoming months. The report detailed problems that the Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja) has known about since 2007. Operating rooms showed damage to walls, ceilings and floors. Old electrical wiring and fittings were used in the rooms.

The executive order comes four year after damage was first noted, and should now compel the Caja to update the conditions of the rooms faster. The operating rooms have a deadline of six months to be fixed, according to Caja Medical Manager Rosa Climent, cited in the La Nación report.

In the meantime, patients requiring surgery will be transferred to other medical facilities, including Hospital Mexico, the Caja’s Ophthalmological Clinic, Hospital Blanco Cervantes and two hospitals in Heredia, north of San José.

The decision to close the rooms comes two weeks after medicals leaders at San Juan de Diós publicly protested the building’s condition. The letter, signed by 18 medical specialists, asked the Caja to intervene immediately and make badly needed improvements.

Doctors said in the letter they’d refuse performing surgery on patients in those operating rooms. They cited concerns with leaking water from the walls and a two decades old air conditioning system, among other problems.

The cost of reconstruction is estimated at ¢ 2,600 million ($5.2 million), La Nación wrote.

You may be interested

Slothy Sunday: This just in — sloths are cute!
Sloth Sundays
2165 views
Sloth Sundays
2165 views

Slothy Sunday: This just in — sloths are cute!

The Tico Times - November 29, 2020

This just in from The Tico Times: Sloth are very cute! We visited Toucan Rescue Ranch in San Isidro, Costa…

Dental school or Costa Rica dental abroad?
Dental Tourism
2351 views
Dental Tourism
2351 views

Dental school or Costa Rica dental abroad?

Patrick Goodness / Goodness Dental - November 28, 2020

A visit to the local dentist is becoming too expensive for most Americans. While prices for routine check-ups and cleanings…

Costa Rica ending week with increase in coronavirus hospitalizations
Costa Rica
6268 views
Costa Rica
6268 views

Costa Rica ending week with increase in coronavirus hospitalizations

Alejandro Zúñiga - November 28, 2020

Costa Rica suffered 28 new coronavirus-related deaths between Wednesday and Friday for a total of 1,690, according to official data…