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President Tsai visits National Hospital of Chimaltenango, attends donation and handover ceremony
President Tsai visits National Hospital of Chimaltenango, attends donation and handover ceremony

On the morning of April 2 local time (late night of April 2 Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Republic of Guatemala President Alejandro Eduardo Giammattei Falla, visited the newly completed National Hospital of Chimaltenango in Guatemala and attended the donation and handover ceremony.

Upon arriving at the hospital, President Tsai and President Giammattei gathered for a group photo in front of the commemorative plaque at the hospital entrance. After remarks by Minister of Health Francisco José Coma Martín of Guatemala, the presidents and other attendees viewed a short video documenting Taiwan and Guatemala's joint efforts in erecting the hospital.  

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

I am very pleased to be here today with all of you to attend the donation and handover ceremony for the National Hospital of Chimaltenango. I would like to invite everyone to take a look at the hospital and to witness this wonderful flagship project that was completed under the joint efforts of Taiwan and Guatemala.

This new large-scale hospital, built from the ground up, is no small feat. For the past 18 months, workers have been busy grading the land, driving piles, firing bricks and tiles, and addressing a multitude of other tasks. And now, they have completed a hospital providing 15 departments and 340 beds. The amount of work involved was enormous, but it is now completed, thanks to the contributions of many very dedicated people.

I want to thank the Guatemalan government under the leadership of President Giammattei, as well as the staff who came from Taiwan to assist in the process. Congratulations on a difficult job well done. This has been a very significant construction project. While using local construction materials and labor, the project also took advantage of Taiwan's experience and technology. And throughout the process, it spurred economic development in the nearby area and created many job opportunities. Now, the National Hospital of Chimaltenango will provide high-quality medical services to 720,000 local residents as well as the more than 2 million people living in the surrounding five departments of Guatemala.

The pandemic of the past few years has underlined the importance of medical care and public health systems in countries all over the world. So we feel quite certain that once this hospital opens its doors, it will be paramount in protecting the health of the people of Guatemala.

In the future, Taiwan and Guatemala will continue to support each other and deepen our cooperation in a wide range of areas. We will continue to work with Guatemala in line with the principles of steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits, and support the long-term, substantive development of our diplomatic partner, as we also cooperate with our democratic partners in the international community.

President Giammattei then delivered remarks, noting that, on the final day of President Tsai's visit to Guatemala, they had come to the National Hospital of Chimaltenango, the place that best represents Taiwan-Guatemala cooperation. Describing the hospital as an engineering feat and observing that its range of medical equipment would be used to provide invaluable medical resources and care to the community, President Giammattei stated that as a leader, there is no more important or worthy mission than that of improving the quality of the people's lives.

President Giammattei further noted that the National Hospital of Chimaltenango is situated in a key strategic position in central Guatemala, which will help increase the capacity of Guatemala's national health system and benefit the many residents of the surrounding area. On behalf of the people of Guatemala, he again thanked President Tsai for her visit, and thanked the government of Taiwan for its considerable cooperation and support.

In closing, President Giammattei reiterated the government of Guatemala's commitment to and support for the sovereignty of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and wished the visiting delegation a smooth and productive visit to Belize, the next stop on its itinerary.  

After President Giammattei's remarks, President Tsai, with the help of protocol officers, presented President Giammattei with a model of the National Hospital of Chimaltenango and a set of commemorative coins from Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense. The two heads of state then toured the hospital's neonatal center for a firsthand understanding of the facility's operations.

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