I dread the hospitals on my planet! At least those I’m entitled to go to. I told a doctor friend who works in a clinic in my neighborhood, a recent graduate who is still rotating between different health centers to acquire practice.

She not only told me I was right, but told me the great state of unhealthiness she found in most of the centers where she rotated. The doctors, she tells me, denounce these situations, but their complaints fall into the void. According to what else she said, the Gonzalez Coro Maternity Hospital, formerly the Sacred Heart Clinic, is in a deplorable state with regard to hygiene.

She adds that they often accumulate bloody gauze, and debris of all kinds used in healing, at the end of a dark corridor, overflowing, with no one taking them out and burning them, as is required.

That’s a great deal of bacteria, Staphylococcus, and all kinds of germs, which are filtered into the rooms of the sick, so close to this deposit, where hygiene is not optimal. Likewise, the holes for the electrical outlets are eaten away, leaving room for small cockroaches, already so typical of our hospitals. In the same bad condition are the door frames, detached in part from the masonry which they should seal.

The same is true in the clinic where she’s now rotating, they don’t collect the waste with sufficient regularity: disposable gloves, syringes and other items used with the patients, and far from the incinerators which have been established in order to avoid contamination, they throw them in the trash container right at the entrance of the emergency room.

I told her of my shock and dismay when I took my sister to the Angiology Institute, which is nothing more than an old pavilion of the once famous Covadonga clinic, which is what everyone keeps calling it, even though that is no longer its name.

There, while waiting for them to heal some leg ulcers on a patient, I watched with horror as a nurse applied the medicine with her right hand, while holding a piece of pizza in her left, which she ate with impunity in front of the patient. That is just one of the facilities, that like so many of its kind, were once the pride of our country. From this, you understand, was born my nosocomofobia.

November 26 2011

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