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
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
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
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.
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
Hospital Salvador Paredes,
Phone: (From USA: 011 504) 44 4093
Fax: (From USA: 011 504) 44 4095