Palma de Mallorca, 5 October 2018

RIU Hotels to cover costs of all medication at the new Children’s Oncology Unit at Cancún General Hospital

  • The chain is again working in partnership with Fundación Aitana, a Mexican charity for children with cancer that will be in charge of purchasing and delivering the medicines to the hospital 
  • RIU attended the launch of the oncology department that is to provide chemotherapy for children living in the northern district of Quintana Roo state

The RIU Hotels & Resorts chain and Fundación Aitana have joined forces again to improve the well-being of children with cancer in Mexico. RIU will cover the costs of all the medicines needed at the newly-opened Outpatient Chemotherapy Unit at the Dr Jesús Kumate General Hospital in Cancún, an oncology department that specialises in chemotherapy treatments. This represents an improvement in the quality of life of all children and young people under 18 who suffer from cancer and who, until a few days ago, had to travel to other Mexican states to receive the treatment they needed.

This new department is the only one that offers this service to the public in the northern district of the state. Initially, it will have two paediatricians specialising in oncology and four nurses to attend to patients from Monday to Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. This medical team will provide care for children from the provinces of Tulum, Solidaridad, Cozumel, Benito Juárez, Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres and Lázaro Cárdenas.

The official opening was attended by several political figures including Alejandra Aguirre Crespo, Director of Health and General Secretary of the Department of Health Services of the State of Quintana Roo. Dr Ignacio Bermúdez Meléndez, the hospital’s General Director, was also present with other representatives of the medical centre, as well as Alma Tesillos, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Americas for RIU Hotels and Yusi Evelyn Dzib Echeverría, President of Fundación Aitana, who is one of the new oncology department’s main champions.

Accompanied by several children from the charity and their families, Yusi gave her heartfelt thanks for the support received from public institutions and the private sector. She made special mention of RIU Hotels, which have shouldered the responsibility to provide all the medical supplies needed to carry out chemotherapy treatments at a cost of 187,000 Mexican pesos (8,523 EUR/ 9,800 USD) a month, for an initial period of two years. After giving thanks, Yusi closed her speech with a few words of hope: “Today, after 9 years of knowing cancer first-hand, I can say without fear of being wrong that cancer is not a synonym for death, but rather for fighting, perseverance and family togetherness.”

Alma Tesillos, RIU’s representative at the event, explained that “participating in a project of this scale, in partnership with the foundation, is a great example of what civil society can achieve when we work together.“ She also reiterated the hotel chain’s dedication to the well-being of Mexican children, and that its generous contribution is “an honour for us as a company and a commitment to the people of Quintana Roo.”

Since 2016, RIU Hotels and Fundación Aitana have collaborated to help sick children and their families travel comfortably by first-class bus to Mérida or Chetumal, journeys that take four and six hours respectively that they sometimes have to make on a weekly basis for medical appointments. They also cover flights for those needing treatment in the oncology hospitals in Mexico City and Querétaro, as well as the cost of medication and other expenses relating to their well-being.

About RIU

The international RIU chain was founded in Mallorca by the Riu family in 1953 as a small holiday firm and is still owned by the family's third generation. The company specialises in holiday resorts and over 70% of its establishments offer its acclaimed All Inclusive by RIU service. With the inauguration of its first city hotel in 2010, RIU is expanding its range of products with its own line of city hotels called Riu Plaza. RIU Hotels & Resorts now has 92 hotels in 19 countries which welcome over 4 million guests a year and provide jobs for a total of 28,894 employees. RIU is currently the world's 34th ranked chain, one of the Caribbean's most popular, the third largest in Spain in terms of revenue and the fourth largest in number of rooms.