Michelle Bachelet's government has plans to cancel the Sótero del rio hospital concession in Chile. However, the government hasn't yet officially notified the consortium of its decision.
The administration of ex-President Sebastián Piñera awarded the project on 5 March 2014. The consortium Hospital de Salud, an investor group led by Spanish construction and infrastructure company Grupo Ferrovial, was selected as the preferred bidder.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the decree approving the contract went to the comptroller general's office for clearance, but after having been approved by two ministers and by the president's office, the Ministry of Public Works yanked the decree from the comptroller general's office.
The source cites an a spokesman for the office of the comptroller general, who said:
"The decree came from the executive branch, which can withdraw it when it wants and there is no need to justify that."
The contract included the preparation of the final design, construction and maintenance of all works necessary for optimal operation of the health facilities, the provision of clinical and non-clinical and industrial furniture and all associated infrastructure equipment, as well as the basic services. Clinical services are not included in the contract.
The project has an approximate investment of US$394 million. The hospital would have a floor area of 220.000 m2, 173 boxes, 49 halls and 710 beds.
The hospital was severely damaged during the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country's central-southern regions in February 2010.
Mrs. Bachelet's government has questioned whether private sector operators should run government funded hospitals. The private hospitals program was promoted by the administration of ex-President Sebastián Piñera.
MOP's hospital concessions program was part of the government's wave of concessioned public infrastructure, which called for the concession of 11 hospitals between 2010 and 2014, with total investment reaching US$2.2 billion. The program includes capital Santiago's Salvador Geriatric Hospital, Félix Bulnes, Sótero del Río and Puento Alto hospitals; region VII's Curicó and Linares hospitals; region VIII's Chillán hospital; and region V's Provincial de Marga-Marga and Biprovincial de Quillota-Petorca hospitals.