Press Releases

IFC Invests in Serena del Mar Hospital To Boost Quality Healthcare in Colombia

In Bogota:
Darcy Antonin Crowe
Phone: +57 1 313 6449

Cartagena, Colombia, May 8, 2015—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced an $18.5 million investment in the Serena del Mar Hospital Center in Cartagena, a Colombian coastal city which has insufficient medical infrastructure to service its growing population. IFC’s investment will help expand access to quality healthcare services in Cartagena and the surrounding areas.

The project will bring the first multispecialty hospital to Cartagena, which has one of the lowest rates of hospital beds per capita in Colombia. The hospital will provide high-quality healthcare to the whole population, including patients affiliated with the government’s universal health insurance program once construction is completed in 2017.
The hospital, which will have 450 beds once it is completed and 151 beds in this first phase, will also provide health services to neighboring communities in Colombia’s Atlantic region, where hospital infrastructure is highly inadequate. The region has 8.5 beds per 10,000 inhabitants, below the Colombian average of 10 beds per 10,000 inhabitants and significantly lower than the levels of other countries in Latin America.

Because of the lack of services, many patients in the region currently have to travel to other cities in Colombia to receive quality and timely medical services, which is a costly and inefficient solution that especially hurts the poorest segments of the population. Serena del Mar, through Colombia’s universal health plan, will ensure that these segments of the population will receive medical care as patient access will depend on medical need rather than on income levels.

The medical operations of the hospital will be managed by Fundación Santa Fe de Bogota, an award-winning multispecialty hospital in Bogota which focuses on oncology, cardiology, neurology, and transplants. Approximately 50 percent of its patients are financed by the universal health plan and, as a result, it serves all segments of the population.

“Our support to Serena del Mar will broaden access to high quality medical services in Cartagena and promote the growth of efficient and effective companies that can contribute to a stronger national health system,” said Carlos Leiria Pinto, head of IFC for the Andean region.

IFC provides investment and advisory services to expand access to quality healthcare, introduce innovations in financing and delivery of services, improve quality and efficiency, and complement public sector efforts to achieve national health goals.

IFC has an active portfolio worth almost $800 million in health services, including hospitals, clinics, diagnostic chains, and Health Maintenance Organizations, and life sciences including pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and medical technology. In the fiscal year ended June 2014, IFC-supported health projects provided care for about 27 million patients.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit

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