Ministry of Health seeks to reduce burden on 2 hospitals


The following is a translation from an article originally appearing in Guatemala.
Click here for a PDF of the Spanish version.

Eight health centers and five regional hospitals will be improved this year to reduce about 145,000 patient consultations that go to Roosevelt and General San Juan de Dios, according to projections of officials, who will allocate up to Q[Quetzals]70 million for this goal.

By Andrea Orozco
January 7, 2017 at 07:47 a.m.

In a press conference, the Minister[,] Lucrecia Hernandez Mack and the three deputy ministers, informed that the health centers of El Paraíso, zone 18; El Amparo, zone 7; First of July [Mixco], zone 19; Zone 11, zone 1, Palencia, Fraijanes and Villa Canales will have more human resources and improvements in laboratories, supply of medicines, furniture and equipment.

HealthRays Article January 2017

Patients at the San Juan de Dios Hospital line up for an appointment at an outpatient clinic. (Photo Press Free: Newspaper library PL)

Adrian Chavez, deputy minister, said that for the recruitment of staff and annual payment, are needed Q6 million 288 thousand and to complete the changes, some Q20 million are required.

With these improvements it is sought that the external consultations of the two national reference hospitals will not be saturated.


The strategy also calls for the strengthening of regional hospitals in San Benito, Petén; Cobán, Alta Verapaz; Mazatenango, Suchitepéquez; Cuilapa, Santa Rosa and Zacapa, so that fewer patients are referred to the capital.

The deputy minister, Edgar Gonzalez, said that the analyzes are still being done to determine the amount of money that will require this change, but it is estimated that they will be up to Q50 million, in addition to a generalized increase for the 44 national hospitals.


Another purpose of the portfolio authorities for 2017 is to improve the quality of care for people.

Chavez explained that what affects hospitals is not only the lack of medicines, as they also require improvements in equipment or rejuvenation of units, as well as transparency issues.

To improve in this situation, in the coming months, with the help of an organization, a system will be established so that the population can complain and make complaints about the service.

In addition, a unit will be installed at headquarters to manage the solutions to those demands.

“We know that sometimes the care given does not necessarily have to do with the lack of resources,” said the official, so they think about improving information and care with a human sense for the patient.


The debt with which the Ministry of Health began in 2017 is Q46 million, said the minister, Lucrecia Hernandez Mack. According to the official this is lower than the registered in early 2016, when the outstanding payments were for an amount of Q500 million. Eight hospitals were free of late payments.

Other achievements

The 2016 closed with an average supply in the national hospitals of 86%, a figure that is considered acceptable since it is greater than the one registered during the two previous years, indicated the authorities of Health.

The budget execution of 92% is also an advance, as in 2015 it was 84%.