LA PAZ - The Bolivian government has selected Austrian construction firm Vamed to build a 200-bed hospital in the central province of Cochabamba.
The contract was signed by Health Minister Ariana Campero and a Vamed representative on Sunday near the site of the future hospital in Villa Tunari, 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Cochabamba city.
The facility will provide care in internal medicine, vascular surgery, cardiology, respiratory diseases, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, endocrinology and urology, among other specialties, Bolivian President Evo Morales said during the signing ceremony.
"This hospital will cost $75 million, it's a lot of money. It's not a health post, it's not a small medical center," the president said, adding that the establishment will include an auditorium, a nursery, a cafeteria and a heliport.
The money for the project in Villa Tunari, Morales said, is part of the $1.62 billion his government plans to invest over the next two years in the construction and outfitting of 46 hospitals nationwide.
Vamed has three years to complete the work.
Morales pointed to the positive experience Bolivia had in working with another Austrian firm, Doppelmayr, which installed the cable-car system linking the cities of La Paz and El Alto.
Austrian President Heinz Fischer will view the cable car line when he visits Bolivia early next month, Morales said.