There's No Room, Wait Outside / Julio Cesar Alvarez
Posted on June 26, 2014
HAVANA, Cuba — Doctors working in the clinic located within the
gatehouse of Central Havana Children's Hospital refused medical
treatment to a three-month-old infant named Alexander because his
parents refused to comply with an internal policy of the hospital.
The policy allows only one parent to be present in an exam room.
According to the doctor and nurse on duty the lack of space in the rooms
is the reason for this policy.
According to Dr. Mario Lorenzo Medina, vice-director of health care at
Central Havana Children's Hospital, overcrowding in the consultation
rooms was the reason why only one of the parents could be present.
"My doctors don't have the room. They work in crowded conditions," the
director told the infant's father.
For the parents — 25-year-old Yanela Durán Noa and Augusto César San
Martín, an independent journalist — this policy violates the right of
both parents to be present during an examination of their son.
The director of the hospital politely acknowledged this right but said
that the policy would remain in effect until working conditions for his
doctors improved. If parents refuse to comply, they are denied access to
an exam room.
Dr. Giselle from the Coco and Rabí clinic in the 10th of October
district is of the opinion that the rights of the parents trump any
other consideration, especially a hypothetical lack of space.
"The patient is always right. There is no significantly compelling
reason to deny him care," says Giselle.
For the father, not only was the directive an embarrassment, but so too
was the treatment by the clinic's medical and nursing staffs.
"They didn't even ask why we brought the child in. The doctor and nurse
refused to treat him. And when I asked for their names in order to file
a complaint, they rudely told me that I was not the police," says
Augusto César San Martín.
Cuban doctors travel to inhospitable locations in order to provide
medical care in very difficult conditions.
While on these international "missions," they work in open-air exam
rooms under conditions of both sun and rain. They do this without
objection and without a word of complaint. Even snakes pose no barrier
to their work overseas.
The parents in this case consider denying them entry because of an
alleged lack of space to be absurd since the policy is followed even
when the rooms are empty.
Alejandro's parents filed a complaint with the Ministry of Public Health
almost two months ago. They have yet to receive a reply.
Cubanet, June 23, 2014, Julio Cesar Álvarez
Source: There's No Room, Wait Outside / Julio Cesar Alvarez |
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