Central Hospital will demolish operating rooms that were never used
During the Toranzo administration 30 million pesos were invested in its construction
By La Orquesta
At the edge of his term as governor of San Luis Potosí, on September 14, 2015, Fernando Toranzo inaugurated seven operating rooms that were built inside the Central Hospital Ignacio Morones Prieto, which had an investment of 30 million pesos. However, two years and six months later the operating rooms have not been used and will soon be demolished, with which resources will be converted into expenses.
Sources consulted inside the Central Hospital told to La Orquesta that in mid-February several sanatorium authorities were summoned to a meeting with Dr. Francisco Alcocer Gouyonnet, general director of the institution. The reason for this was to announce the demolition of these operating rooms, to give rise to the construction of a new area.
“It was a kind of cocktail. As if it were a celebration, there was food and drink. Alcocer told us that they are going to demolish these operating rooms. They were never used; What’s more, they were closed. They never worked”, said our informant.
Ironically, the celebration took place in the space of the frustrated operating rooms. “It even looks like a joke, the only time I saw them open and it was to announce that they are going to throw them away. Carreras had to follow up on the issue to know how the investment was spent and under what conditions were delivered”, said another of the doctors present at the celebration.
Other medical residents of the hospital in the surgery area confirmed that this space, located above the main parking lot, has never been used and even mentioned that it has design errors, so even if they wanted to, they could never operate optimally.
That Monday (09/14/15) the social communication area of the state government issued a press release in which it gave details about the work and cited a statement by Toranzo Fernández in which the then governor spoke of the fragment of his life in which he worked inside the Central Hospital: “the situation was very different, because it lacked the human and material resources to provide the attention that people requested. Now the deficiencies are minor, because with works like this one can reaffirm the Central Hospital as the alma pater of every health professional in San Luis Potosí”.
In September 2017, Francisco Alcocer acknowledged before a media that the operating rooms were not working and justified that there were areas of the hospital that were pending remodeling, despite the fact that the investment of 30 million pesos included construction and equipment.
More irregularities of 2015
Among the many observations that the Superior Audit Office of the Federation (ASF) found in the 2015 public account of the government of Toranzo, there were damages for 10 million 631 thousand 111 pesos with 28 cents, due to the fact that the Health Services in the State paid with funds from the Health Services Contributions Fund 2015 to two workers 22 thousand 973 pesos with 52 pesos and in the Central Hospital “Ignacio Morones Prieto” to 76 public servants, 10 million 408 thousand 139 pesos. These payments were made to personnel who lack a professional certificate that proves the profile through which they collected salaries with resources from that fund.
A rebased hospital
At the end of 2017, La Orquesta published a report in which it was confirmed that on the instructions of Dr. Camilo Antonio Martínez López, head of the Surgery Division of the Central Hospital, as of November 1, the scheduled surgical interventions were suspended and were reprogrammed to be carried out as of the second half of January 2018. The measure affected half a thousand patients.
The doctor Francisco Alcocer Gouyounet, director of the Central Hospital, confirmed the measurement of suspension and reprogramming, nevertheless, assured that it was a “measure of prudence” from the sudden rise of patients.
“We have 4 or 5 weeks with the emergency area full and we are giving attention without stopping … there are no beds and we have patients even on stretchers, therefore we have taken this measure because the people who arrive at their surgery can not be treated and unfortunately we have to return them and it’s very painful, that’s why we better let them know so they can come until the emergency area is prepared”.
This situation is not new. In December 2016, the pages of La Orquesta stated that the instruction was the same: no more surgeries for beneficiaries of Seguro Popular due to lack of budget.
“It’s going to be the same as last year, the Seguro Popular budget is over, the surgeries are suspended, and until January they release resources and reschedule them. Several areas also suffered cuts”, confirmed one of the doctors working at the hospital.
The same source reported that in 2016 and 2017, during the months of November and December, only gynecology and emergency departments performed surgeries, however, they will work with reduced resources:
«At the end of 2016, the Central Hospital was only at 30% of its occupancy capacity, because thus emergency patients were charged a higher percentage than usual. An example: a person will be operated on from a hernia. The Seguro Popular would normally cover 80% of the expenses, it depends on the diagnosis but it never covers everything, in this case it could pay for hospitalization, surgery, surgeons, etc., but let’s say if it occupies a special material, such as a hernia mesh, that would not include it; the patient must pay for it, this often delays the date of operations because you need to make the payment. In November and December a year ago it was worse because the Seguro Popular also stopped absorbing the cost of medicines, serum, healing material”.
On December 2 last year, the Secretary of Health at the state level, Monica Liliana Rangel Martinez, denied that there was a cut in the attention to beneficiaries of Seguro Popular. A version that was opposed to that of patients and doctors.
Also read: All surgeries scheduled at the Central Hospital are suspended