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IFC INVESTS IN HOSPITAL NETWORK IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7, 2000 — The International Finance Corporation is investing to improve healthcare in the Dominican Republic, building a network of private hospitals that will set new standards of care for the local population and provide much needed hospital infrastructure to support the tourist industry.
In its first healthcare project in the Caribbean, IFC is investing up to US$22 million to build four private hospitals in tourist destinations of the Dominican Republic, each with up to 60 beds, an small dialysis center, three operating rooms, consultation offices, an emergency center, and an intensive care unit. In later phases of construction, new beds and consultation rooms will be added.
The first hospital is already under construction and will begin operating next week in Punta Cana, in the Bavaro region of the Dominican Republic. It will be equipped with modern facilities and run by the professional management team of HOSPITEN, the project sponsor and a leading provider of private healthcare in Spain. HOSPITEN has over 30 years of experience in this sector and has developed a strong reputation as a provider of high quality healthcare services particularly in tourist destinations of the Canary Islands.
The hospitals will serve local residents as well as the influx of tourists who visit the Dominican Republic each year, said Karl Voltaire, IFC Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. The project will set high standards for healthcare services, and provide the critical social infrastructure needed to sustain the tourism industry, the single largest foreign exchange earner for the country. He noted that the lack of quality healthcare services has been identified as one of the major barriers to the development of tourism in the Dominican Republic.
IFC's investment includes a loan of up to $11 million for IFC's account and up to $11 million for the account of participants. These are the first hospitals in the Dominican Republic to be backed by international financing.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.