Maria Luz Flores, in a hat and coat to withstand the cold, passed in the early hours of Wednesday, 1 June, a few meters from the entrance door of the Enrique Garces hospital, south of Quito. This hospital is affiliated with the Ministry of Public Health (MSP).
I saw how the sit-in was going on outside that hospital, which was organized by several organizations and also involved doctors from the nursing home.
The 73-year-old, who does housework, says that when she goes to care there is a shortage of medicine and the testing machines are damaged.
She said her husband, of the same age, had been in the hospital — since last Monday — waiting to have prostate surgery on Wednesday or Thursday.
He lives with his family in the Lucha de los Pobres co-operative. He stated that they always receive treatment at that hospital.
She confirmed that they were sent to obtain drugs for her husband’s operation.
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“There is no care, because they say there is not enough medicine to take care of us. They sent him to buy some things for the operation. My son has spent about $40,” he said.
In the center there were shouts and posters of support for the medical staff.
Phrases such as “Minister of Health (Ximena Garzón), Mr. President (Guillermo) Lasso, we need medicines, supplies, medical personnel and good care” were read.
Byron Noronha, a physician at the hospital for more than 30 years, said the health status of this home, as well as across the country, is critical.
There are no supplies, no drugs, no devices, he said. There is a lack of maintenance and equipment; The equipment is old.
He added that in that hospital there are five operating theaters for surgeries and three delivery rooms, but one is working well and two are in the middle of the road.
“We are forced to sign public procurement contracts without interfering,” he stressed.
Staff with a suitable profile were asked to run the hospital.
He added that he had to flash a cell phone light to finish the surgery because the lights were burning.
“The lights are on. I had to work with cell phones, with the cell phone light,” Noronya said.
He added that because the hospital is built between two streams, there are sandy soils and subsidence.
The sit-in is another in a series of protests that have taken place to demand the health sector’s attention. There were shouts saying, for example: “Health is not for sale, it is not for sale.” Health is defended.”
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The Minister of Health, Ximena Garzón, indicated last week that they had decided at Enrique Garcés Hospital, for example, that there was a “very serious problem of corruption”, which was being investigated, and that they would not allow the drugs to be diverted. Sell.The hospital is out or there is an aberration in the contracts.
The focus is happening in the midst of the government’s announcement of an outsourcing plan for outpatient pharmacies, the start date of which has been pushed back several times and before a fifteen-day ultimatum given by the Ecuadorean Medical Federation (FME) to the government to correct deficiencies in the healthcare sector. (YO)