Venezuela has opened two new public hospitals, bringing the total number of medical facilities opened in 2012 to three.
Built at a cost of over VEB144m ($33m), Hospital Ana Francisca Perez de Leon II in Petare, Miranda, consists of an emergency room, an intensive care unit, a government pharmacy, a surgery wing, a blood bank, a dentistry unit and classrooms for medical students.
The hospital is furnished with medical equipment from China and is expected to offer heathcare to one million people in the region.
Another facility, the Dr Raul Humberto de Pascuali Hospital in Portuguesa, features a neonatal unit, a birthing room, a radiology service, a dentistry unit and a paediatrics department.
Portuguesa Governor Wilmar Castro Soteldo said the Raul Humberto de Pascuali hospital had been out of action for 20 years but now features a dentistry area, five operating rooms and 310 staff.
Venezuela president Hugo Chavez, while inaugurating both hospitals, said that Venezuela used to have just 7,400 outpatient departments but today the country has around 11,400 healthcare assistance centres.
"In terms of outpatient departments in urban areas, rehabilitation centres and high technology units, before we had only 310 and today we have 1,969; that’s almost a 630% increase," Chavez added.
"The budget for health, education and social services will keep growing."