• This medical centre focused on paediatric primary care has treated 1,153 boys and girls in 3,393 consultations since it opened in September 2019.
  • The patients, who are residents of Artola and other neighbouring communities, say that they are “very satisfied” with the medical service provided.

The Paediatric Medical Clinic in the community of Artola ran by RIU Hotels & Resorts in collaboration with the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) has been operating for 22 months as of July, and has had a very positive impact on the care received by the population of the canton of Carrillo, Guanacaste.

During its almost two years in operation, this medical centre has provided care to 1,153 boys, girls and teenagers aged between 0 and 14 in 3,393 consultations, mainly with treatments focused on preventing and controlling respiratory, gastrointestinal and dermatological illnesses. On average 150 consultations take place every month, and a total of 115 minors have been referred to a specialist at a local hospital.

A survey of the clinic’s users to find out their opinion on the service showed that 90% are “very satisfied”. Overall, all of them “strongly agree” (55%) or “agree” (45%) that this medical centre has helped improve the state of children’s health in the area.

What’s more, according to patients’ families, the main advantage is the centre’s nearby location, which means they do not have to travel to other care centres that are farther away. They also highly value the fact that the centre offers specialised care because, before the centre was opened, children were treated by general practitioners and not by paediatric specialists. In addition, they stated that the centre has allowed them to save money as it is a free service and they no longer have to go to private consultations in places that are far from their homes.

Moreover, the results of the survey regarding potential improvements to the medical service were analysed together with ESCP Business School, RIU CSR’s academic partner and ally in social matters. Users indicated that the medical care service could be extended to the elderly population. They also requested a pharmacy and a laboratory, and certification of the “injection” service.

Among other aspects, the interviews confirmed the need for specialist monitoring in terms of nutrition, dental hygiene and psychology, as well as the launch of awareness campaigns on nutrition, sexual health and vaccination.

The aim of all this field work carried out by RIU’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team and ESCP is to analyse the needs of the local community and manage the possibility of including new services that improve the population’s quality of life in the short and medium term, alongside the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) and other local health authorities.

In July of this year, RIU presented its Sustainability Report for 2020 — a year marked by the challenges facing the tourism sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in which it strengthened CSR with 30 social and environmental actions worldwide to support the local community and protect children, that directly or indirectly benefited 13,644 people.