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Monday, September 26, 2011

One reason why our health care costs more

This morning I shadowed the GYN doctor at the clinic. A general visit cost 5 soles. A pap smear an additional 5 soles. Additional labwork cost as much as 15 soles. There are 2.7 soles in one american dollar. Needless to say this is inexpensive medical care. Granted it is subsidized by NGOs and the government for the poor, but still. Way cheap.
Here´s the downside. The table was never once wiped clean the whole morning. There was no crinkly paper to lie one, just the hard plastic. The gloves came from a used kleenex box rather then sterile packages. The swabs came from a metal box and were made of cardboard rather than sterile plastic. The speculums are kept in a plastic tub. The patient brings her own samples down to the lab, waits at least one hour for them, and then brings them back up to the doctor. At the end of the morning nothing is cleaned save for the speculums which have been soaking in soapy water. They are washed, dried, and then thrown back into the bin.
I´m not saying all this is bad or good, but it definitely is a less expensive way to run a clinic.

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