Estelita Cruz and her daughter in the queue
Day after day they stand in a long queue outside the hospital’s entrance. At the end it is a lottery which patient may enter the hospital and which patient has to come back tomorrow. The system is better than one may initially think. If one recorded all the waiting patients in a list a queue of many months would spring into existence in no time. During our many years of operating we have tried many different systems. It is a fact that always more patients come than we as doctors and nurses can treat.
At 5p.m. two women, hailing from Arequipa, a 16-hour bus-journey away, approach me. They have come to the hospital on two consecutive mornings, but always without success. Within moments we are in the middle of a personal conversation, names are exchanged and I feel the pressing need to somehow organise a ticket for them. But, that would be unfair to all the others patients seeking help.
I cordially wish them that they will get a fortunate ticket on Wednesday morning. If we had more doctors we could…
Missionary hospitals worldwide are very popular with their (local) communities and almost all of them do not have enough voluntary workers. Since patients (can) pay only a fraction of real treatment costs the work carried out by volunteers from overseas, i.e. missionaries, is crucial. Without them Diospi Suyana simply would not function.
And now to the good news: in 2019 we treated ten thousand more patients than in 2018. For the statisticians among us that means 58,000 patients compared to 48,000 the year before./KDJ