The first oxygen gasifier capable of turning liquid oxygen into gas has been installed in the Vladimir Ilich Lenin hospital in the Cuban province of Holguin in the south east of the country, to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the important medical centre.

It is expected that more of these units will be installed in medical centres throughout the country and at a total cost of 110,000 pesos, the gasification unit serves to substitute the daily shipment of 85 cylinders from the industrial gas company of Holguin which supplies the hospital.

During the opening ceremony, Dr Rene Layva Medina, director of the Vladimir Ilich Lenin hospital, emphasised that the setting up of the system will guarantee oxygen supply to the patient care rooms, surgical units and childbirth rooms. It is also stressed that the investment will save vast amounts of transportation fuel and costs, as the 14 shipments per week (at a rate of 2 per day) of oxygen cylinders will now be reduce to just 3 shipments per week.

It has also been declared, by a director of the Provincial Gas Company, that another similar system will be installed at the Luis Guillermo hospital of Moa, also in the south east of Cuba, before the end of 2007.