Life & Health

Samara Residents Seek Land Title Transfer to Build New Medical Center

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Samara residents are seeking to get the title transferred for land to build a new medical center for the community. The current EBAIS building is falling down and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS- Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social) cannot invest in improvements because the land is not in its name.

The Pro Samara Clinic Committee, made up of a group of residents, is handling that process, and the commitment members want to use a piece of land located in the Canto de los Gavilanes area to build a new clinic.

The 3000-meter lot, donated to the Municipality of Nicoya in 2014 by the Castillo family, located 200 meters north of the former Sol y Mar Restaurant, was at first intended for use in making a community park.

However, since building the new theme park in the center of town is now underway and they will soon have a space set up for recreation and entertainment, the majority of residents feel it is now necessary to renew and improve public medical care.

Committee members spoke with the mayor of Nicoya, Marco Jimenez, about using the land to build a new clinic. The mayor considered the request of the Samara residents to be valid and said they have already been approached about transferring the property to the Costa Rican Social Security Fund.

For this to happen, the residents need to present a formal request to the municipal council and the agreement needs to be approved.

Cristina Castillo, one of the residents on the committee, said that the land has enough space and meets the necessary conditions to build a medical center, which is urgent for the community.

“We have had two meetings with the mayor and he was in agreement with using the land for a clinic. We don’t have a medical center where first aid can be given,” Castillo stated.

Dr. Tannia Tanchez, director of the CCSS Area of Health in Nicoya, explained the process that must be undergone to donate the land and build the new EBAIS.

“There must first be an assessment by the engineering department, technical and ground studies, so [the land] is accepted and entered. Once the transfer is made, it gets in the line of the institution’s projects,” Tanchez indicated.

In addition, Tanchez clarified that the property is large enough for construction, but she clarified that it will probably not be a clinic but rather an EBAIS.

“The property is very large and it is not a clinic; it is an EBAIS. The construction would indeed be larger than the current one. It would be about 200 to 300 square meters (2150 to 3230 square feet),” she reported.

Building Falling Down

The current EBAIS building was built in 1974 and, although it has received several additions and renovations, it does not meet the optimal operating conditions, so many believe it is no longer useful. 

Fulvio Paniagua, president of the committee and the doctor in charge of the EBAIS, explained that the walls of the building are broken and cracked due to the 2012 earthquake. In addition, the electrical system is faulty and is a security risk for patients.

“We need to remodel the medical area, the kitchen, the records area and where we see patients,” Paniagua pointed out.

Currently, six staff members work in the medical center, and building a new facility would increase the operational and personnel capacity.

“The EBAIS infrastructure has collapsed. We hope it will be a clinic,” Paniagua commented.

For her part, Castillo believes that the population of Samara, currently 3510 inhabitants, shows a growth trend, and the medical center no longer has the capacity to serve so many patients,  increased by the number of tourists visiting the beach who go to the EBAIS