These new projects, located at the Obras Sociales main facility and Virgen de Socorro, will support improved and expanded surgical, medical and residential care serving those most in need.
Every day, an increasing number of Guatemalans come to the Surgery & Medical Center seeking quality health care. They would otherwise have no access to care, and the expansion project will respond to this important need. The expansion will extend services at outpatient and specialty clinics and related services such as pharmacies, diagnostic centers, and laboratories. It will also provide necessary repairs to original electrical, plumbing and ICT systems to ensure the safety and comfort of patients and staff.
These improvements will also support a transition to operate as a teaching hospital, leveraging international partnerships with international volunteer medical teams. The project will bring together an implementation team of architects and specialists in medical infrastructure and colonial architecture.
Phase II of the Virgen de Socorro project, located just outside of Antigua, aims to provide primary care, prevention and health education to residents of nearby municipalities and villages as well as offer training opportunities for local health care providers. It will also enhance existing services for the children, adolescents and adults with special needs who live at Virgen de Socorro. The new center will include:
- 12 specialized clinics, laboratories and diagnostic center,
- Expanded educational facilities for residents with special needs
- Classrooms and an interactive auditorium equipped with information technologies and ICT communications for continuing education programs and knowledge transfer in health
- Administration offices
The 17th century building where the Surgery & Medical Center now resides has suffered ongoing deterioration and damage from earthquakes over the centuries. Despite small construction and repair projects over the years, a comprehensive renovation is now necessary to renew its original identity and ensure effective operations for many years to come.
Together with the service expansion plans, the restoration and conservation project will make this a premier 21st century hospital while ensuring the heritage and history of this monumental building.
Delegated by the Fraternity of Obras Sociales, Asociación Amigos Pro Obras Sociales will lead the efforts based on a comprehensive feasibility study and a strategic plan for implementation.
The current surgical area of Obras Sociales is composed of five fully equipped surgery rooms, three pre and post-operative areas with a capacity for 57 patients in beds divided into 6 common rooms, 3 isolation rooms and one intermediate care area.
For eleven months out of the year, 40+ groups of specialized international doctors perform more than 6,000 surgeries in thirteen specialties at a rate of 125 surgeries per week. This continual use has led to many needed repairs. They need new surgical and medical equipment, maintenance to the sidewalls, lighting and electrical connections, and upgrades to the surgery room floors and medical staff areas.
The demand for surgical care is high, with some patients waiting for up to two years for specialized surgeries. At the same time, new volunteer surgical teams seek opportunities to volunteer at Obras Sociales. This project will increase the capacity of the surgery center and also leverage the knowledge and expertise of visiting physicians to build capacity among Guatemalan doctors with an aim to improving the country’s health care delivery system.
The rooms will be equipped with state-of-the-art surgical equipment and digital connectivity supported by modern technology to ensure real-time transmission of new surgical procedures implemented in these operating rooms. They will be offered as a valuable training resource to Guatemalan universities and medical schools.