Thursday, October 15, 2015

Where Would You Go? by Audrey Seligman

On Thursday September 17th our class visited two hospitals, Hospital Clinica Biblica and Hospital San Juan de Dios. We were asked to keep the following question in mind: “Which hospital would you want to be taken to?”
The first hospital we toured was Clinica Biblica (see below), a private hospital. Here we were given a guided tour through the building and informed about the history of the hospital. The representative also spoke to us about the amazing facilities and the impressive ability to perform non-invasive surgery. We walked through a long hall with photographs documenting an outreach program the hospital has with indigenous communities. The tour ended on a huge helipad on the top of the building, used for transporting patients in emergency situations. During our visit to Clinica Biblica, we did not see any patients. I believe this was both to protect the privacy of the patients and the low number of patients at the hospital. We were allowed to walk into an empty maternity room after scrubbing our hands. The room had a large bed, a couch, a large reclining chair, and a private bathroom. The hospital was absolutely beautiful and at points seemed more like a hotel.  
Our second visit was at Hospital San Juan de Dios, a public hospital.  We were immediately overwhelmed by the people buzzing around us, both patients and doctors. There was no mistaking this place for anything except a crowded hospital. Here we saw a new somewhat modern wing where patients were connected to medical machines and an old wing where there were no machines, or air conditioning. The halls of the emergency room were lined with people on gurneys. We were even allowed to look into the ICU. This is the oldest hospital in San Jose and the biggest problem they struggle with is privacy. There are no individual rooms and no curtains separating patients.

There was no question in my mind that I would rather be cared for in a private hospital, than in a public one. We all came to the same conclusion until we were informed that the best doctors choose to work at the public hospitals, not for money, but for prestige. Often doctors, particularly specialists have to be called from the public hospital to the private. We were told that no matter how wealthy someone is at some point in their life they will need the CCSS, or public health system.  

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