Regional Hospital In Desperate Need Of Improvement

     Bluefields Regional Hospital.







Bluefields, RAAS, Jun 16-The regional hospital in Bluefields is in deplorable conditions: dilapidated beds, broken  windows, no windows, no fans, no air-condition, no up-to-date X-ray machines, etc. On the day of our visit, no vital fluid (water) was available.  In John's editorial "Autonomy, Wealth and Ethnocentrism" he outlined the poor conditions of the hospital. Once a modern hospital, now it’s a place you hope and pray to God you never have to go. It's sad to see the patients leaving their rooms to go outside to get some fresh air on hot steamy days. Since the hospital air-conditioning unit is defective, the patients must bring their own fans. And when they used them, they are charge a fee for the electricity consumed. The director of the hospital was not available to comment on these issues.



The sanitary conditions at the hospital are very poor.  The rooms have no running water. The patients must retrieve water from a well to flush the toilets or take showers. The beds that are available are shabby. Most patients who can afford to bring their own sheets and blankets do so. It is quite possible for patients to contract some other types of diseases while in the hospital because of mosquitoes and other insects bite due to the high grasses and bushes that surround the hospital. But this is not the only risk. The most frightening is the fact that patients share rooms regardless of the diseases they might have. The bed pictured here has soft foam for mattress. 

Could you imagine a patient with back problems sleeping on something like this? On the other hand, patients paying up to 500 Cordobas a day are admitted to the private ward (pensionado) which are attended by private physicians on one wing of the hospital. The “pensionado” rooms are equipped with fans, TV, and much better beds. The situation is such that you realize that they have succeeded in separating the people one way or another. By dividing the hospital, those who have money may survive while those who have no money lie and suffer.

Here is a comparison of the two sides of the hospital. 

The young lady pictured here on the regular side of the hospital is Georgina Wilson. She was in for surgery on the day of our visit. Noticed how neat and clean the bed is, that is because she brought her own bed spreads from home. The room she mentioned has no fan or AC. Georgina was in good spirit and spoke highly of the nurses and doctors. She said she trust in God that her surgery will go well. We asked Georgina if she was given any bed spreads. She said yes but she preferred to use her own linen.  





The young man in this photo is Bradley. He was involve in a car accident and broke one of his foot. Bradley pays the average day cost to be on the pensionado side of the hospital in order to get the best care available. Noticed his room is equipped with a night stand, electrical outlet, tv, fan and curtain. These rooms are a world apart from the regular side of the hospital.

The hospital does not have an onsite pharmacy. Therefore, the family members of patients who are in need of special medications must make the trip downtown to purchase the medications. The facility lacks a lab for testing. Blood samples are often sent to Managua for analysis. Thereby, creating the risk of contamination. 

Besides all the problems we found at the hospital, we could not overlooked the spirit of the nurses who help and do the best they can with what is available. Their sense of humor keeps them going.  “We do the best for each patient that comes in here,” said Maribel Simmons, head nurse of the prenatal department.  

Maribel told us that the hospital is in a serious condition and needs great improvement, especially the water system. She said that most of the pipes are broken. The patients must full water from a well. The rooms are without lights and other basic needs. She also said that the director of the hospital is trying his best, but he can only do so much. He has spoken with the fire department to see how they can assist with the water problems.  

Another problem is the diet the doctors prescribe. The hospital budget does not allow the patients to get prescribe diets. They must get them from home. Everyone at the hospital, including the nurses and doctors, is served rice and beans and a piece of fish when available.


Even the kids acknowledge that the hospital problems need immediate solutions. S. Joseph Pineda’s dream is to become a gynecologist. She too has noticed the critical conditions of our regional hospital. She spoke about the lack of security in the rear part of the hospital which we have also noticed. While speaking with her we saw a few people jumping the fence to make a short cut to wherever they were going. Dogs and cats roam the yard and sometimes the hall way of the hospital. 


Website designed and maintained by G. Lewin Copyright © 1999  - 2008 Oneg LLC. All rights reserved
Please send your comments to: