Staff at Panama ’s sick kids hospital (Hospital del Nino) who have struggled with cramped and outdated facilities under successive administrations holding out the carrot of “a new hospital soon” have had their hopes dimmed once again.
Building a new children's hospital in the country has become the most complex and delayed public health project during the last two government administrations while the site remains a parking lot.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) must make another tender for the construction of the new facility after the Directorate of Public Procurement ordered the complete annulment of the evaluation reports of the five consortia who participated in the prequalification act.
The Public Procurement Directorate annulled the reports prepared by the commission that evaluated in September and November the companies interested in participating in the tender to build the hospital on the grounds of the former US Embassy on Balboa Avenue.
In a report, the DGCP ordered the return of the administrative file of the prequalification process to the bidding entity (Ministry of Health) and warned that there is no recourse against this resolution that totally suspends the prequalification process.
The Ministry must appoint a new commission to evaluate the proposals presented by the consortia for developing the hospital project.
The decision of the DGCP arose after the public act was twice suspended, due to claims presented by participatingp companies.
The consortiums filed actions against the process, after the evaluating commission appointed by the Minsa ratified on two occasions that the proposals of the consortiums Nuevo Hospital del Niño (of Portugal) and FCC América Hospital del Niño (of Spain) were the only ones that met the requirements established in the prequalification document
Esteban Perdomo, president of the Association of Specialists of the Children's Hospital, asked the government to act as quickly as possible so that the work is tendered and awarded in this government.
"We do not ask a new hospital for medical or administrative personnel, but for Panamanian children," Perdomo said.
Former Comptroller Carlos Vallarino said there is no justification for the long delay when the bidding entity has the appropriate staff for the procedures.
Health Minister Miguel Mayo, said that the project will be tendered and awarded in this administration.
According to the authorities, the pediatric center works daily at its maximum capacity. Hospital data shows that the occupation is generally an average of 380 of the 399 beds available.
Colombia just built a state of the art International Cardiac Center on the western side of Bucaramanga that is attracting people from all over the world in addition to the medical staff to operate it. I walked through the facility and it is truly a masterpiece. As a result of the hospital two new giant hotels are being built across the street as well as a Senior Retirement Community on site. As a draw for medical tourism it truly is performing.
China could build a combination hospital / embassy.
Panama is a long way off from medical facilities and medical care (availability of quality services, medicines, etc) especially in the outlying areas of the country as compared with the neighbor to the north -- Costa Rica. If Panama could only see the advantage of upping its medical care, the availability of quality foreign-trained, certified medicos, and centers throughout the country for a wide-range of emergency and preventive care -- it could take advantage of MEDICAL TOURISM. What would result? Tourists spending money here for accommodation, meals, and very important, allowing robust medical facilities with top-notch providers. This would supplement the services for Panamanians and residents -- a win-win. Medical tourism dollars would be a bonus to upgrade services. Can't you see the advantage?