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Radio Diospi Suyana

The Day of Medicine in Peru

The health system in a crisis

Yesterday was the official Day of Medicine in Peru.  We assume that all 73,000 doctors received a congratulatory WhatsApp from the National Medical Chamber.  Yet if one is honest there is not much to celebrate.  The Corona-pandemic has revealed the weaknesses of a lacking and corrupt health system.  “Medicine” in Peru is a product that is sold to the customer who puts the most money on the table.

Yesterday morning we heard a tentative knock on our front door.  A Quechua-Indian in traditional dress wanted to know if our missionary hospital had an ENT-doctor.  Sadly, I had to answer him in the negative.

“Where do you come from?”  I asked the man, since I could not understand why he did not get this information from the hospital’s entrance, but rather had asked his way to our private home.

“From Cerro de Pasco!” he answered as if it were the most normal thing on earth to travel from that city in the Central Highlands to Curahuasi.

According to Falk-route-planner it is a 24-hour car journey; a lot longer, if one travels by bus.

He subsequently asked me if I could recommend a good ENT-specialist.

If a simple man is prepared to travel 1,000km – needing at least one whole day through the mountains for the journey – hoping to find a trustworthy ear-nose-throat-doctor, the Peruvian health system must have some glaring flaws.

At lunchtime the sun came out and the clouds dispersed.  But what came of this man seeking help? Sadly, I do not know.

Perhaps you know of an ENT-specialist who is prepared to spend three years at the Hospital Diospi Suyana and build up his own department?  The requirements are quickly sketched out:

Lived out Christian faith, active in a local church, financed by a private circle of friends and prepared to spend a minimum of three years in Curahuasi./KDJ

Rain and fog hang over the roof of the Hospital Diospi Suyana. Unpleasant, especially for those travelling.
A capable ENT-doctor at the Hospital Diospi Suyana could help countless people.