Spanish version

HEALTH

Problems remain at hospital

In the three months since they were first reported, significant issues have yet to be resolved at Santo Tomas Hospital.

Spanish version

Santo Tomás Hospital remains in a state of crisis three months after problems were first reported there.

Doctors and patients continue to log complaints over issues such as a lack of medical supplies, missing drugs and maintenance issues.

For example, there is a lack of prosthetics, plates and screws for orthopedic operations.

The shortage is due to procurement processes that require many steps, coupled with delays in the obtaining of proper permits by suppliers.

Portable air conditioners have to be used in some rooms due to the lack of maintenance in the air conditioning system.

Another irregularity is the accumulation of garbage in the halls. Red hazardous waste bags are in view of patients, families and doctors.

The hospital's Association of Specialists, which issued the initial report on problems at the facility last April, has reiterated its call for the situation to be addressed.

Association President Julissa Rodríguez said that a meeting was held three weeks ago to discuss the issues, and the doctors were told that a lack of resources was the primary problem.

"They informed us that the debts with some providers has declined, while others are in the process of delivery," said Rodriguez.

Another problem is a lack of space. For example, there are 40 patients currently being treated in an AIDS ward that was designed for 20.

A medical specialist, who requested his name not be used, said there are patients who require hospitalization but who are kept in the emergency room due to a lack of space.

Minister of Health Francisco Javier Terrientes said he is aware of the problems, but they must be addressed by the hospital's Board of Trustees.

Medical Director Angel Cedeno explained that purchases are made quarterly, and it takes between three to four months to address shortages.

He added the facility has reduced its debt to providers to $5 million from $18 million. He said there should be an improvement by the end of the year, and will gradually improve as purchasing is streamlined.

En los pasillos del nosocomio se observan las bolsas con desechos peligrosos.  LA PRENSA/Maydée Romero Sprang Expandir Imagen
En los pasillos del nosocomio se observan las bolsas con desechos peligrosos. LA PRENSA/Maydée Romero Sprang

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