So I'm writing this blog post throughout the our tour of the public hospital because I'm most likely not going to be able to focus on a 12 hour bus ride. I'm probably just going to want to sleep and knock out for as long as possible.
Anyways, when I was in the private hospital, Dr. Quinn told me to take note of how everything looks and the general state of the hospital. She told me she wanted me to do this because she said that the public hospital that we'll be visiting is very different. Now that we're actually at the public hospital, I can see what she meant. Overall, the public hospital is very run down in comparison the private hospital that I went to. As we walk through the hallways, it's easy to see mold, dust, and dirt at pretty much every step. Lighting is dim, food waste and food trays just lay around as flies constantly buzz over them, papers are scattered everywhere, you name it. In general, the hospital was very dirty and it's clear that it doesn't receive a large amount of funding from the government. Otherwise, the cleanliness and overall upkeep of the hospital would be much better.
But even though the public hospital isn't in the shape that it should be, the service that it provides to the surrounding area is completely necessary. The public hospital is one of the only places in the immediate area of Quetzaltenango that has a staff of specialized doctors in various fields. The care that they provide to the people that come in is completely free, regardless of economic status or even nationality. The resources they have in terms of supplies and manpower actually allows them to take care of a larger number of people than they currently are. The only thing preventing them from doing so is the hospital is currently at capacity and they're unable to take more patients. The public health sector really needs to be adequately funded.
Now, we're headed over to Tacorazón for lunch and then after that we're all going to do some last minute shopping before we commit to spending the next 12-16 hours of our lives in a bus. Wish us luck! -Scott