Expanding Health Services in Nicaragua

Managua, Nicaragua, September 1, 2008IFC is supporting the health care industry in Nicaragua by bringing high-quality, affordable medical services to people locally. An $11 million investment in Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas is helping finance an expansion that includes the country's first integrated oncology center, a new 32-bed hospital building, and a medical offices tower.

The hospital is considered the country's leading health institution for its high-quality medical services and experienced specialists. Its plan to establish an oncology center is vital as incidence rates for cancer and other noncommunicable diseases continue to rise. The hospital is also taking an important step toward attaining accreditation by the international arm of the United States' Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.


"This initiative will have a strong development impact
by increasing access to health care and reaching more people
through insurance programs. With an established track record
for clinical and patient care, Hospital Metropolitano serves as
a center of excellence for Nicaragua and the wider region."
—Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health & Education

Reaching More People with Affordable Services 

With IFC's support, Hospital Metropolitano is expanding its reach to middle-income people and increasing its impact. For example, an in-house membership program allows more people to obtain discounts on a range of medical services for affordable monthly fees. The project will also provide lower-cost services locally for people who usually go abroad for treatment. In turn, Nicaragua will be able to retain thousands of dollars that are being spent in other countries.

By expanding specialized medical services, the project is helping develop the domestic market for health care and promoting ancillary services. Local insurance companies are also providing discounted products, broadening their reach to lower-income people. The expansion is driving down costs for insurers, enabling new products at lower premiums, and making them affordable to more people.

The project will also create more opportunities for highly trained doctors, nurses, and medical technicians. This will provide incentives for specialized medical professionals to remain in Nicaragua rather than seek employment abroad.

Expanding Private Health Care in Central America

As the world's largest multilateral investor in the private health sector in emerging markets, IFC is committed to expanding private health care in areas where it is needed most. Our efforts are helping improve access to high-quality care for people of all income levels, especially the poorest.


Our role includes:
  • Investing in health care companies and sharing industry knowledge and experience
  • Enhancing quality standards and facilitating international exchange of best practices
  • Introducing clients to an unrivaled network of contacts in the international health care arena
  • Supporting collaboration between the public and private health sectors
  • Informing government policy that affects the private health sector

Given IFC's priority focus on the world's poorest countries and regions, Central America represents an important opportunity. The investment in Hospital Metropolitano is part of our strategy to strengthen social infrastructure—health and education—in Nicaragua and the wider region.

Our broader health strategy includes providing long-term financing to midsize enterprises, helping improve physical infrastructure, supporting competitive services in private health care, raising managerial and governance standards, improving medical and clinical quality and standards, and introducing environmental and social best practices.

Through this strategy and by working with partners that bring best practices to health service provision, IFC is supporting the growth of local health care firms in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable way.

As of August 31, 2008, IFC's health portfolio in Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to $92 million in investments and $300 million of total project value for 11 projects in five countries.


Ludi Joseph
Communications Officer

Health and Education Department, IFC
Phone: 202-473-7700
Website: www.ifc.org/che