Caja acquires title to land for new hospital in Turrialba

Plans are moving ahead for a new hospital in Turrialba to replace the existing Hospital William Allen Taylor. The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social has gained title to some 10 hectares or about 25 acres that will be the site of the new facility. The Caja said it invested 250 million colons (about $505,000) and the owner, the Pirie family, donated half the estimate value.

The search for the correct location was not easy, said hospital officials. Sought was land that would not flood, was not near underground thermal activity and was close to public services.

The Caja is now embarking on a project to estimate the
health needs of the some 87,000 persons who live in the cantons of Turrialba and Jiménez that will be served by the facility. In that way, officials said, they can determine what kind of specialized care will be provided. The hospital also is the primary health provider for some 7,000 native Cabécar who live in the surrounding mountains.

The anticipated health needs of the area population will influence the final design of the facility, officials said. A design team already has been assembled under the supervision of Gabriela Murillo Jenkins, they added. He is head of the Caja’s Infraestructura y Tecnologías division.

Meanwhile, renovations and construction will continue at the existing hospital, said the Caja. The staff there now is about 500.

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