ER Ecuador Style
Surprising Service in ER Ecuador
I have come to trust Hector Quintana, our COO of the Ecuador EscapeArtist site, implicitily. He is a forthright individual and the articles that he has produced for us here on this site are insightful, honest and sometimes downright frank.
Sometime ago he addressed medical care and mentioned that emergency medical care was provided at no cost. Today, I had the need to test this statement.
The necessity arose this Sunday morning for me to go to an emergency clinic. I went to a local public health hospital and was received with only a passport. After a very brief triage, some blood and urine tests were ordered. After about an hour and one half the tests were returned and the doctor pronounced a possible diagnosis. Treatment and medications were prescribed and supplied and we were sent on our way, with the advice to follow up when we returned home.
The hospital reminded me of hospitals back in the fifties in Canada. Although it was relatively new, it was simple, a little dark but clean. We were greeted at the door by security guards who manage the flow in and out.
For me the triage area was a bit crowded and not private. The individual doing the venepuncture did what many techs do, even in North America. They cleanse the area that they are going to puncture but then they touch it again with their dirty fingers. The actual drawing of the blood was smooth, without any noticeable pain.
I found the staff overall a bit brusk but that seems typical with many clerks and individuals in stores and restaurants in the area.
Nonetheless we were in an out of the hospital in 2 hours, almost unthinkable for an emergency room anywhere else that I have used. The kicker – exactly as Hector described. There was absolutely no charge for the service, the lab tests or the medicine prescribed.