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President Maduro Celebrates 7 Year Anniversary of Children's Cardiology Hospital

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro celebrated on Tuesday the seven-year anniversary of the founding of the Dr. Gilberto Rodriguez Ochoa Latin American Children's Cardiology Hospital, a facility built in the capital city of Caracas thanks to an initiative by the leader of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chávez.

Using his Twitter account, @NicolasMaduro, the head of state said that the facility, which has helped save the lives of thousands of children, demonstrates the profound sense of love that inspired the revolution. He called for the nation to continue working to achieve a health system with great human and technical ability in order to ensure the best possible service following the model of the Cardiology Hospital.

He said that the socialist revolution, following the guidelines of the Constitution, will continued to guarantee high-quality free healthcare for the Venezuelan people.

In its seven years of operation, the Cardiology Hospital has performed more than 8,000 free procedures for Venezuelan children and  children from other countries including Honduras, Colombia, and Nicaragua, to help strengthen ties among Latin American and Caribbean nations.

It contains 142 beds, 33 of them in intensive care units, and four operating rooms.

"These are children who today are back with their parents, studying, playing sports. That's what we want, for them to be reinserted into normal life," said the hospital’s director, Silena Ibarra, on Venezolana de Televisión.

In 1998, she indicated, public hospitals around the country could accommodate just 140 children, and "since the inauguration of the hospital, there has been a qualitative and quantitative leap in the area of congenital heart defects."

The first patients to receive operations seven years ago were acknowledged at a celebration at the hospital on Tuesday.

The hospital also offers a nursing program focused on the treatment of congenital heart defects, and graduate-level courses on pediatric medicine, children's cardiology and surgery for congenital heart defects. It includes a residence to accommodate students and the families of patients, as well as Venezuela’s first tissue bank.

AVN/Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the US/August 21, 2013

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