I thought I would write a little about how hospitalization is here in Venezuela. The first thing is...Never go to the HOSPITAL! Go to a CLINIC! The hospital is socialized medicine and lacks just about everything. I have seen two, recently delivered moms sharing the same bed. I have been in a pediatric hospital with 300 patients and no doctor in the building. Socialized medicine is not a pretty thing, it is free, and as they say, you get what you pay for!
A Clinic is a private hospital. It is not free, but you can get great care. The little clinic I was in for my surgery, is a family owned hospital. The older brother is the only surgeon and various family member s are doctors, nurses, secretaries, etc. This is the type of hospital Chavez is now enforcing price controls on which will lead to bankruptcy or nationalization of all private medicine.
I must say, I love the personal attention and care given in the clinics here. For instance, there are only three beds in this clinic all private rooms. At night, I had my own doctor. Just me! No other patient at all. Not a nurse..a surgical resident. He spent over an hour and a half in my room and rubbed my hair off my forehead and patted my arm. He came back the next day with his son to check on me, on his own time!
The second night, another resident was with us and the one other patient. She came and changed my sheets after some bleeding , yes, the doctor! She helped me change and get comfortable. Being a woman she adjusted all the garments "just so" and kept asking if it was ok.
The surgical nurses kept coming in to check on me the next day as they had several out patient type surgeries and a little free time in between. They brought me jello from the kitchen.
My anesthesiologist also came and checked on my each day. As did the assisting surgeon.
The housekeeper also doubled as the cook. She would come in before each meal and ask me what I wanted to eat. She would cook what ever I asked for. Even oatmeal for lunch! She always made an extra hot ham and cheese sandwich or arepa for Clint so he could eat as well. She would bring him coffee a couple of times a day.
When I left, everyone was hugging and it was like I was leaving a family I had been visiting!
The Venezuelan people are a great people on the whole. I love their hospitality! I will miss that.