Nicaragua Hospital Increases Services and Access to Affordable Health Care with Help from IFC

Managua, Nicaragua, August 29, 2008— Nicaragua’s Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas is increasing access to affordable medical care with the help of an $11 million IFC loan. The hospital will build Nicaragua’s first integrated oncology center, a new 32-bed medical building, and medical offices, while offering an in-house discount program. Director Guy Ellena said, “The expansion of Hospital Metropolitano’s operations will have a strong developmental impact by increasing access to health care, reaching more people through insurance programs, and acting as a center of excellence for the country and the region with established benchmarks of clinical and patient care."

By increasing specialized medical services, the project will help expand the size of the domestic health care market and promote ancillary services. It will also provide a higher quality, less-expensive alternative for Nicaraguans currently seeking medical treatment abroad. As a result, Nicaragua will be able to retain funds that would otherwise be spent elsewhere.

Senior Manager Marcos Brujis said, “IFC’s support for Hospital Metropolitano is part of our strategy to strengthen the infrastructure of social services, including health and education, in Nicaragua and Central America.” He added that, “given IFC’s increased support to IDA countries, Nicaragua represents an important investment destination for IFC.”

Local insurance companies are also providing discounted insurance products, thereby further broadening their reach to mid- and lower-income people. This expansion of services in the health care sector is driving down costs for insurers, allowing new products to be offered at lower premiums and making them affordable to more people.

Metropolitano’s expansion will also help to reverse Nicaragua’s medical brain drain by providing an incentive for medical specialists to remain in the country, as opposed to seeking employment abroad.

The hospital is also working toward accreditation by Joint Commission International (JCI), the international arm of the U.S. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Successful completion will make Metropolitano Nicaragua’s first such accredited hospital and the second such example in Central America.

IFC’s heath strategy in Central America includes supporting private sector development by providing long-term finance to medium-sized enterprises, improving physical infrastructure for health care, 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.

As of May 31, 2008, IFC’s health portfolio in Latin America and the Caribbean amounted to $81 million of total investments and $275 million of total project value in 10 projects in four countries.

As the world's largest multilateral investor in the private health sector in emerging markets, IFC is committed to the future growth of private health care in developing countries. It brings to the table an understanding of the sector, global expertise of investing in the sector, and a team of specialists dedicated to private health sector investment.


Contact:

Ludi Joseph
Communications Officer

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