WSP helps save lives by enabling two field hospitals to be built in Panama, adding much needed facilities during the COVID pandemic.

As part of its social responsibility policy, WSP offered the Canadian Embassy its support to delivering two mobile hospitals to the Panamanian Red Cross to increase the number of hospital beds as COVID spread across the country.

Welcome Support for a Stretched Healthcare System

Panama’s healthcare system is stretched largely due to the lack of existing capacity. The lack of hospital facilities in Panama meant that the Canadian Embassy’s offer of two field hospitals was very well received by the Panamanian Ministry of Health (MINSA).

Fully-functional hospital wards

The fully-functional shelters were produced in Peru by the Canadian company, Weatherhaven, each containing 16 hospital beds and five oxygen concentrators. The local authorities chose to install one of the shelters as a temporary ward for the duration of the pandemic, to isolate and diagnose suspected COVID patients outside the Irma De Lourdes Tzanetatos Hospital in Panama City – a hospital which does not treat COVID patients. The second was assigned to the town of Santa Fe in Darien province, where it is installed as an annex to the Health Centre and provides the only hospital beds in the area. This may remain in use until a permanent solution is implemented in the area.

WSP’s role

The installation and assembly of the shelters included the design, transportation, assembly and service installations. WSP project manager, Juan Llugdar, explains how WSP got involved.

“We offered our support for the installation of the two field hospitals as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility commitment. Initially we provided all those involved in the project with our Project Control System, a virtual tool for managing communications and the different work documents. We then helped Weatherhaven ensure that their electrical design conformed with Panamanian regulations and service conditions. In addition, we undertook a gap analysis to identify all aspects of design logistics, import of the shelters into Panama, transport to their allocated sites, assembly of the shelters and the installation of their services, including the locally-supplied foundations and wooden surfaces. We also designed the bathrooms adjacent to each facility.”

“We were very proud to be able to support the Canadian Embassy´s effort and our society with this much needed project to help the Government of Panama save lives and care for the population during the pandemic.”