Goldcorp Cerro Negro Contribution Gives Local Hospital a New Lease on Life
A welcome donation by Goldcorp Cerro Negro to the Hospital Distrital Oscar H. Natale in Perito Moreno, Argentina has sparked a baby boom of sorts in the community of 8,000 people, located approximately 70 km northwest of the Cerro Negro mine site.
As part of the collaboration agreement signed on June 4, 2015 between Goldcorp Cerro Negro, the municipality of Perito Moreno and the hospital, Goldcorp committed to provide AR$35,000 (approximately US$3,800*) a month in “top-up” funding over a one-year period to refurbish and run the health care facility’s operating and delivery room.
“There hasn’t been a baby born in Perito Moreno in seven years because the local hospital was only equipped to do basic medical procedures, so women would traditionally leave the community when their due date was close to be near a functioning hospital,” said Dominique Ramirez, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Central & South America, for Goldcorp Cerro Negro.
The monthly contribution by Goldcorp, along with other infrastructure and equipment investment amounting to AR$4.3 million (approximately US$470,500*), enabled the hospital to upgrade its operating room and inpatient rooms, purchase needed surgical equipment, expand its gynecological service and provide 24-hour emergency surgeries. As a result, a total of eight babies were delivered in the hospital in June and 12 general surgeries were performed in the refurbished operating room. The added capacity also allows the hospital to serve neighbouring communities up to 60 kilometers away, including Los Antiguos.
“Previously, people had to travel five hours to the nearest hospital in Caleta Olivia for routine surgery,” said Ramirez. “Now, patients can access surgical services closer to home, which reduces a lot of stress on the patient and their family members who would normally accompany them on out-of-town medical trips.”
“The operating room has significantly improved the quality of life in Perito Moreno. There’s a lot of seniors in the community, so having these kind of health care services available is a welcome and much needed addition that will help improve health outcomes.”
With state-of-the-art medical facilities and equipment at their disposal, the hospital’s doctors are now considering expanding their health care delivery to include preventative care and elective procedures, such as dental surgeries.
Since acquiring the Cerro Negro property in 2010, Goldcorp Cerro Negro has continuously supported the local host community’s development by promoting health and welfare, providing educational tools, creating spaces for dialogue and improving infrastructure.
Ramirez concludes: “Goldcorp Cerro Negro is honoured to help fund this important hospital project in partnership with the municipality of Perito Moreno. We’re confident that our initial funding will help this hospital become a self-sustaining health care facility that will benefit generations to come in the community.”
* US$ amounts calculated using official exchange rate as of July 17, 2015 - USD$1 = 9.137 ARS, subject to change based on fluctuations in currency exchange rate.