Trujillo Hospital

Emergency entrance

May you never need it but if you do, it's there.

'Hospital Dr. Salvadoor Paredes' is the emergency center for Trujillo and its environs. The hospital will deal with anything from dysentery to major surgery. Prices range from one Lempira for general consultation to one hundred Lempira for major surgery, and the astonishing lack of cost reflects a population that has very little money with which to pay for these services.
Therefore, if you are in need of the hospital services let your own wealth reflect the payment due; this is an understaffed, underpaid, overworked hospital and anything additional you have to offer goes a long way.
By invitation, we went inside the hospital and took a look around. Although crowded with patients, there was a sense of order and the hospital had high sanitary standards.
We were invited to visit the chief administrator, Maria Teresa Ocampo, who gave us the low-down on the hospital. It was constructed in 1963 and was, at the time, one of the most advanced hospitals in Honduras. Since that time, it has been overshadowed by the larger and more up-to-date hospitals in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and La Ceiba. Although they are funded by the state, they do not receive enough money to run the hospital and they are continuously in dire financial crisis. Nonetheless, the hospital somehow manages to provide for forty eight beds and gives aid to all who enter the hospital.

Maria Teresa Ocampo, Dr. Jaime Salcedo, Dr. Oscar Gomez

At this point Dr. Oscar Gomez, director of the hospital, entered the office and offered his own observations. He informed us that the Catholic Church is a major contributor to the hospital. Another source from which the hospital can draw funds is the 'Finca Del Nino', an extraordinary organization which adopts and raises orphans in a family-like atmosphere and draws some of its financial support from the Catholic Church and other sources in the United States.

Dr. Gomez went on to say that funding and aid sent through more centralized bureaucratic channels simply fail to turn up at the hospital for one reason or another. The Catholic Church and Finca are simply more direct and reliable funnels for funding.
We asked if there was a message they wanted to get onto the web; Dr. Gomez was circumspect.
Yes, of course the hospital desperately needs help, but they have been disappointed by some so-called 'help' in the past: medication past its expiration date; old, broken discarded equipment sent to the hospital; computers from the early '80's for which floppies are no longer available; none of it fit for anything but the trash pick-up.

A Burrough's computer, cir. '80

As far as current needs go, the hospital could greatly benefit from donated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and centrifuges, medication, and other general supplies. Dr. Gomez stressed that they do not expect to receive brand new items, but that it is discouraging to receive donations that are no longer usable. They would also appreciate monetary donations to the fund for improvement of the infrastructure of the hospital, such as updating the electrical system, replacing the roof and, eventually, constructing a bigger building.

Busy hallway

Some volunteer personnel can also be disappointing. He is sometimes approached by doctors offering their help, only to have his hopes dashed because they cannot produce their licensing information. Other times he has had to deal with visiting doctors who have little cultural sensitivity or feel that their beneficence earns them unlimited authority.
Dr. Gomez is eager to develop direct relationships with North American hospitals; something that could develop into a more tangible lifeline.

We left the hospital very impressed by the quality of the hospital care and the character of the people who run it.

Perhaps there is a potential "sister" hospital out there somewhere which would like to lend a helping hand? Please get in touch with administrator Maria Teresa Ocampo or Dr. Oscar Gomez for further information.

Maria Teresa Ocampo / Doctor Oscar Gomez
Hospital Salvador Paredes,
Trujillo, Colon

Phone: (From USA: 011 504) 44 4093
Fax: (From USA: 011 504) 44 4095