Saturday, November 04, 2006


There was chaos in the Hospital Naciónal on Friday. Other than the MSF clinic, Dr. Ordoñez is usually the only Internist for all the inpatients in the hospital. There is also one Internist for the medicine outpatients, but she has been on strike off and on since July.

According to Henry, the Guatemalan MSF doctor I work with, the hospital has not paid Dr. Ordoñez´s salary for eight months. When I asked him why, he shrugged his shoulders and said that they do not have the money to pay. Late Thursday afternoon, Dr. Ordoñez resigned. By the time I left on Friday, the hospital had not found another doctor to take care of the medicine inpatients. Henry said that there is no other doctor in Puerto Barrios who would take that job.

Becuase Henry and I take care of all the HIV/AIDS outpatients and inpatients, this mess will likely not affect our project. I mention it only as an example of the precarious health care system for the poor here in Guatemala.

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