The Maternidad Alfredo Paulsen Hospital in Guayaquil opened Saturday, thanks to U.S. philanthropist John Paulson.
The 90,000 square meter, 533-bed hospital and its 28 clinics will be able to accommodate 12,000 patients a month. Officials say its birthing facilities can handle 75 new babies a day.
U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Todd Chapman visited the facility Monday, meeting Paulson and the hospital’s medical staff.
The hospital was built with a $22 million contribution from the Paulson Family Trust. Additional funding came from the federal and Guayaquil cantonal governments.
Paulson’s father, for which the hospital is named, was born in Guayaquil, the son of Norwegian immigrants who arrived in Ecuador in the 1890s. “Ecuador is very dear to my heart,” he said at the hospital opening ceremony. “I came to Guayaquil for the first time when he was 11 years old. Then again when he was 18. At that time I spent two years in Ecuador, visiting Guayaquil, Quito, and Cuenca, and various other areas of the country,” he added.
Paulson, a former Wall Street money manager, is one of the wealthiest men in the world with a net worth estimated at $10 billion. He became a financial legend in 2007 when he effectively bet against the U.S. subprime mortgage lending market, earning more than $4 billion. His investment strategy was featured in the movie, “The Big Short.”