The people of Santa Cruz will have to go to La Anexion Hospital in Nicoya or the Baltodano Briceño Gerardo Hospital in Liberia to get X-rays.
This was stated by Thelma Gutierrez, a member of the Santa Cruz Board of Health, during the regular session of the Santa Cruz Municipal Council on Tuesday, May 26th. She said the clinic that they plan to build in the city center will not perform any type of medical imaging services.
“Unfortunately, under this new [Costa Rican Social Security Fund] administration, they are taking things away from us. After having to struggle hard for years to get them to accept this clinic project, now they take more things from us. They also want to take away emergency beds. From 20 in the initial project, they want us to go to 15, but those are things that we can go about solving,” explained Gutierrez.
Jose Retana, head of the Santa Cruz Health Area, explained that people from Santa Cruz currently have to travel to Nicoya for any type of radiograph or X-ray services.
“Maybe at Social Security, they can think that going to Nicoya is just a hop and a skip. However, they are not thinking about people who come from Ostional or from any other place away from the center. These kinds of services are indispensable in medical centers,” Retana specified.
“Santa Cruz is a canton with a large population and above all there is a great longevity among the people, so there are many patients with chronic illnesses,” he added.
The clinic project has been proposed since 2002, during the government of former President Abel Pacheco. Nevertheless, the Social Security Fund approved executing the work in 2016, although there is no definite date yet.
Currently, the clinic has a cost of $25 million.
What It Will Include
Internal medicine services, nutrition, psychology and geriatrics are some of the medical branches that would be offered at the clinic. Also, it would have a maternity ward with delivery assistance, so pregnant women will not have to leave the canton.
The canton of Santa Cruz has five small clinics in the districts of downtown Santa Cruz, 27 de Abril, Cartagena, Villareal and Santa Barbara.
Gutierrez commented that the board plans to have a hearing with the executive president of the CCSS, Maria del Rocio Saenz, which will be scheduled in the beginning of June, so she asked the council members that form part of the commission to demand that medical services not be eliminated from the project.
In light of the request, the council members agreed to emphatic opposition to the elimination of medical imaging services and committed to attending the hearing.