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The Regional Military Hospital in Mérida opens with a ceremony headed by Mexico’s president. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — On the second and final day of his trip here, President Enrique Peña Nieto attended opening ceremonies for two new hospitals in the west side of the city.

He inaugurated the Regional Military Hospital and unveiled a plaque at the new Issste Clinical Hospital, representing a combined investment of 1.7 billion pesos. Friday’s ceremonies lead up to World Health Day today.

A third hospital, focused on maternity and young patients, is also due to open in a few weeks in the city’s south.

Peña Nieto hailed the new hospitals for serving populations that lacked medical care. An additional 6.2 million Mexican citizens access health services from 2012 to 2016, he said.

“If we continue with that same rhythm, perhaps in 10 years, we can eliminate this shortage suffered by some Mexicans,” Peña Nieto told federal, state, municipal and military officials.

The military hospital, where 900 million pesos were invested, is part of Mexico’s commitment to those who  “wear the uniform of the country” and their families, said Peña Nieto.

“And with these commitments we have found a greater response from our armed forces, to be present in watching and protecting Mexican society, both in terms of security and when we face the onslaught of nature,” the president said.

The commander of the X Military Region, Gustavo Nieto Navarro, reported that the hospital stands out for its geographical location and its functional design, in addition to serving 135,000 soldiers, beneficiaries and pensioners of Yucatan, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz.

Its state-of-the-art facilities include 90 beds, an emergency area, intensive therapy, rehabilitation, and five operating theaters, one of which is an interventional cardiology center. A heliport will accommodate emergencies by air.

The Regional Military Hospital offers 30 specialties such as cardiology, gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics, gastroenterology, internal medicine, oncology, orthopedics, urology and neurology.

Peña Nieto gave 13 awards to merit and decorations awarded by the General Health Council to doctors and nurses who were outstanding for their contributions to the country. The first to receive it was the rector of the UNAM, Enrique Graue Wiechers.

The Secretary of Health, José Narro Robles; the governor of Tabasco, Arturo Núñez Jiménez; as well as the secretaries of the Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda; and of the Navy, Vidal Soberón Sanz, attended the event at the military hospital.

The president was here Thursday to inaugurate the International Convention Center and an economic zone in Progreso to attract tech companies to the region.

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