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The ISSSTE General Hospital in Tampico, Tamaulipas. The ISSSTE General Hospital in Tampico, Tamaulipas.

After waiting 10 months, hospital receives its 20mn peso prize from airplane raffle

The prize money will go toward much-needed repairs at the Tampico hospital

A hospital in Tamaulipas has finally received its 20-million-peso (about US $1 million) prize more than 10 months after the federal government’s “presidential plane” raffle was drawn.

The raffle, in which 100 20-million-peso prizes were up for grabs, was drawn on September 15. Hospitals and a tiny school in Nuevo León were among the winners.

The combined prize pool was roughly equivalent to the value of the unwanted presidential plane, which was to be the prize until the government realized that owning and maintaining a luxuriously-outfitted Boeing 787 Dreamliner would be impractical for most Mexicans.

Luis Miguel Rodríguez, director of the ISSSTE General Hospital in Tampico, confirmed that the health care facility received its prize on Thursday.

“… They paid us, what a relief! … [The money] materialized, fortunately,” he said, adding that he never lost faith that the funds would arrive despite the delay because he knew that the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly.

The hospital followed the government’s instructions and opened a new bank account last year to receive its prize but weeks and then months rolled by and the deposit wasn’t made. All the while, the 55-year-old hospital was “falling to pieces,” according to a report by the newspaper Reforma.

Rodríguez said the 20 million pesos will go toward maintenance at the hospital, which is set to be replaced by a new facility sometime in the not too distant future, although no date has been set for construction to begin.

“We’re going to give the hospital a bit of a facelift so that it at least has adequate conditions before it’s replaced … We’re going to give it some maintenance because you go into a room and the light doesn’t work, the wall is falling down, it has no curtains,” Rodríguez said.

Among the projects to be carried out are the installation of new electrical wiring, general repairs and painting, he said.

The Tampico ISSSTE hospital serves 250,000 state workers and their families, and receives patients not just from southern Tamaulipas but also the north of Veracruz and Hidalgo and the southeast of San Luis Potosí.

With reports from Reforma 

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