A Long Trip

We have patients come from all over Peru.  Sometimes they come from so far away that is almost unbelievable.  I cannot help but wonder what we are doing that makes them willing to travel for so long.  The truth of the matter is that they have to pass several hospital to reach us.  There is a social safety net in Peru, but for some reason for many people it does not function well.  They are either mistreated or abandoned in the bureaucracy of the medical system.  Everyday I have patients who have come through a journey of many day with hopes that we will be able to cure them.  So we try to treat them with compassion and let them know that we see their worth as they are made in the image of God.  Maybe this is the difference that they are looking for?  Here is a short post from Dr. Klaus John regarding how far people come to receive medical care at the hospital from the Hospital Diospi Suyana website.  (The original is in Spanish again.)

When the endoscope becomes a long trip.

Claudia Nickel cares for a patient after her endoscopy.

Claudia Nickel cares for a patient after her endoscopy.

Why do patients come from so far away?

Wednesday Morning: Four gastroscopies are scheduled. Nurse Claudia Nickel and colleagues have made exemplary preparations. I just need to push an endoscope through the esophagus into the stomach and then write a short report of each exam.

My first patient comes from the department of Tacna. She had traveled 18 hours to the hospital, she told me. Her confidence in us makes me happy. The second case was a woman in the department of Arequipa. She had traveled for 12 hours on the road to be treated by us.

My third patient comes from Puno. His trip has probably lasted about 10 hours. And the last patient lives in the city of Cusco. The three hour trip was relatively short. Four patients from four departments in a small endoscopy room are many for a single morning. / KDJ