Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Further on Inauguration

FL2307033688 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0000 GMT 23 Jul 88

[Text] Commander in Chief Fidel Castro today at noon inaugurated the
Orlando Pantoja General Hospital in Contramaestre municipality.  The
hospital is one of the 167 health projects completed in Santiago de Cuba
Province in salute to 26 July.

Esteban Lazo Hernandez and Roberto Damian Alfonso, first part secretaries
of Santiago de Cuba and Granma, respectively, and other leaders,
accompanied Fidel on a tour of the facilities of the modern care center,
which he termed "a jewel".  During the massive act, which was attended by
almost 40,000 residents of that area, (Luis Arias) spoke on behalf of the
construction workers of the hospital, valued at 20 million pesos.  Dr.
(Luis Estruch), director of Santiago de Cuba's health sector, also spoke to
highlight the meaning of this modern hospital and the other 167 health
projects which were simultaneously inaugurated today in the province.

[Begin (Estruch) recording] This hospital has 364 beds, and services such
as intensive and (?intermediary) care units for adults and children, a
modern surgical unit, hospitalization services for [word indistinct], a
polyclinic, a stomatological clinic, a physical therapy unit, a blood bank,
and a modern unit for perinatal care.

To salute this 35th anniversary, the province has completed a large group
of projects which includes the medical equipment factory, the plant for
(?enteral) solutions, the heart center with 47 beds, the (Meya) hospital
with 70 beds, the new San Luis Hospital with 106 beds, and the four
perinatal units in the maternity hospitals, all of which will allow an
increase in the quality of medical care for our population.

The new Saturnino Lora clinical-surgical training hospital has a large
investment in construction and equipment exceeding 9 million pesos, of
which over 70 percent is in foreign currency.  This hospital will put at
the service of the people modern computerized tomography equipment, the
(?somatic) [word indistinct], the extracorporeal litholapaxy, two
hyperbaric cameras, 514 modern medical equipment items, and a group of
civil and non-medical works which (?include) a park, power plants, surgical
rooms, and 344 beds and tables that constitute the first part of the modern
furnishings this hospital will have when it is completed at the end of the
year. [end recording]

Speaking at the main ceremony, our commander in chief referred to the
important achievements the public health field has attained:  he even made
comparisons to very developed countries.

[Begin Castro recording] Nine out of every 10 children who used to die are
saved today.  The average life expectancy level is being raised.  Already
the average life expectancy of our country is among the highest in the
world, it's among the highest [repeats himself].  The infant mortality rate
is among the lowest.  Just note what was said here.  The three
municipalities with family doctors have an infant mortality rate of less
than 10 per 1,000.  I can tell you that only the most developed countries
in the world have that.  This means that these three municipalities in our
mountains have a survival rate for children higher than the rate for the
United States, with all its power and riches.  In these three rural
municipalities of Santiago de Cuba which have medical doctors there is a
lower infant mortality rate than in the United States. [end recording]

In other parts [words indistinct] upon inaugurating today the modern
hospital in Contramaestre, the chief of the revolution recalled the
unforgettable days in late December 1959 when the rebel columns under his
command annihilated the tyranny's resistance in Palma Soriano and in
(Bamfai de Maffo), very close to the village of Contramaestre.

[Begin Castro recording] If we had been told, back in those days I was just
referring to, that one day, in this very same place, we were going to
inaugurate a project such as this one, a hospital that could be termed one
of the best in the country, among the most complete, I really think that
not even the most optimistic persons would have believed it.  Back then the
residents of that small village of Contramaestre and of Maffo, and of
America, while they dreamed about a lot of things, did not even dream about
a hospital such as this one. [applause]  That is why it is with legitimate
pride that we have met with you to inaugurate this project. [end recording]