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Health Care Hell

Posted by Marco Antonio Mendoza Saturday, February 5, 2011

Well Zdenka spent the past week in the hospital all thanks to her wonderful screw-up of a gynecologist who through his several years of incompetence and blatant negligence spent the past few months of consults merely checking the babies heartbeat, measuring mommies stomach and taking her blood pressure, all while ignoring (not answering) Zdenka's questions and concerns and rushing her visit just like he did every other maternal patient during his shift (which unsurprisingly is the last of the day).  If this guys passion for medicine was a candle flame then it's safe to say that it burnt out probably somewhere around his over-the-hill party.  Now I'm guessing there definitely isn't anything medically exciting about the field of gynecology and after seeing your fair share of vaginas you've eventually seen them all so it's perhaps no surprise that this guy's sold his soul to his profession a long time ago.  Now if I sound a little forgiving trust me that's not where this rant is heading, I mean here is a man who pretty much is killing time at work like any other demoralized employee yet what makes it so bad is that he is in a profession that dangles with peoples health and the health of their soon to be born children.  Luckily we had the sense to change doctors though I wish we would have realized a bit sooner rather than two months before Zdenka's due date but hey, better now than never right?  ANYWAYS... the good news was that Zdenka's new gynecologist (which surprisingly was a woman, not to many of those oddly enough in the field) was a young gal with a good head on her shoulders who when was informed of the atrocities of said previous doctor decided that the only solution was a temporary stay at the hospital in order to perform several tests (you know the ones that are fundamental of every pregnant women who spends 9 months in consultation visits...minor details really).

The week went by and while the experience for me was less than uncomfortable, Zdenka unfortunately had to deal with nurses, doctors, and the dreaded medical interns whose noob status in the medical realm makes their hands very shaky when it comes time to draw blood from the patient in the room next door.  A true battle of wits in a place where the medical staff are desensitized to the point that they see patients as impatient whinny moochers rather than people who have paid for their health care and are less than satisfied with their medical experience.  I am still rather green to the whole public health care system, a concept all to foreign to me and yet as I spend more time within the walls of the EsSalud hospitals I begin to realize just how unpleasant the reality of a well intentioned system can be (I begin to wonder if perhaps this is what the reality of such a system would be if it existed in the US).  Friday came and thankfully Zdenka was released giving her the satisfaction of freedom from medical beds and clockwork patient checkups every hour, though happy and ecstatic to be out we both knew that it would only be a matter of time before we would have to return, and like many others excepted our reluctant dependency to the health care system. 

It's experiences like this that makes me ask the question: "what is the lesser of two evils?"  A country with private hospitals and insurance companies where people without insurance can't even afford to pay for a simple consultation let alone the medical bills for a blood test or a country with a public health care system where the health care staff are underpaid and demoralized, the facilities and hospitals are in shit conditions, and the people are unhappy.  I shutter to imagine what the future holds for man in his ever continuous quest to solve the age-old puzzle that is health care.

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