14ymedio, Havana, November 28, 2023 — Two private enterprises from Ciego de Ávila will be in charge of repairing the ward for patients with respiratory diseases at the Doctor Antonio Luaces Iraola Pediatric Hospital. The official press, which spread the news on Tuesday, did not explain if the choice of private over State companies is due to the lack of the regime’s resources to restore its own hospitals.
According to the report from the Cuban News Agency (ACN), the restoration work has been taken over by two private companies in the provincial capital, Carnes D’Tres and El Jan, “as part of their contributions to economic and social development.”
The first, dedicated to food, is in charge of financing the works, and the second, whose social purpose is construction, of executing them.
The first company, dedicated to food, is in charge of financing the works, and the second, whose social purpose is construction, of executing them
The Respiratory Ward, as it is called in Cuba, is located on the top floor of the hospital, and the rain that seeped through the roof affected the infrastructure and caused the deterioration of medical equipment needed for the care of patients who must remain hospitalized for long periods of time.
Infants who suffer from risky diseases such as cystic fibrosis are isolated in the three cubicles of this ward, which has 26 beds, explained Gleibys Liset Fernández García, a pediatric intern, to ACN.
The ruinous state of the room is deduced from the words of Carlos Castaño Oliva, director of El Jan, and Daniel González Fráser, one of the partners of Carnes D’Tres, when they explained that the waterproofing of the roof required a large outlay and pointed out the complexity of changing the false ceiling and the veneers, the replacement of hydraulic networks and bathrooms with the necessary structural fixtures, and even the arrangement of the clinic’s furniture.
Castaño Oliva said that “the actions are aimed at resolving maintenance issues,” although the report doesn’t mention how much the private entities have had to pay for the renovation. They will also provide air conditioning equipment, refrigerators and televisions.
Castaño Oliva said that “the actions are aimed at resolving maintenance issues,” although the report doesn’t mention how much the private entities have had to pay
Since June 2022, the official newspaper Invasor has published articles about repairs and maintenance work in the Ciego de Ávila hospitals, classifying some of it as an investment because of the magnitude of the work, all under a strategy of “sponsorship” that offloads the responsibility of the Government onto different companies, initially State-run and now belonging to the Island’s emerging private sector.
The article cites as “godparents” the companies of Communal Services, the Electrical Union, Hydraulic Use, Construction Materials and Supply and Health Services, the Provincial Directorate of Culture, the Ministry of Construction and the private companies RTV Comercial and Media Luna.
Also, the articles mention the profound deterioration in which the pediatric hospital, which just turned 72 years old, was found. It needed renovation of the Burn rooms, Gastroenterology, Pediatric Surgery, Gynecology, Cardiology, the Information Center, Radiology, the area of Legal Medicine, the Guard Corps and the colonoscopy, endoscopy and laparoscopy rooms, among others.
The situation of the Ciego de Ávila hospital is not an isolated case. Many healthcare centers on the Island share the same ruinous structural conditions to which are now added the enormous shortage of supplies and the exodus of professionals from the sector.
Last September, the official press also reported the repairs of an educational center in the municipality of Trinidad, in Sancti Spíritus, provided by three private companies. In this case it was La Trinidad, dedicated to transport; Caído del Cielo, which focused on bakeries and desserts; and Construcciones Liz, which does construction and repair of buildings. “Despite their focus on the production of goods and the provision of services, they decided to contribute part of their resources to local social development,” Escambray said, without specifying whether they were private or state companies.
Translated by Regina Anavy
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.