“The Outpatients’ Department of the Central Havana Children’s Hospital has no otoscope for examining children suffering from ear pain,” said Lianay Palmero, a resident of Santo Tomás entre Árbol Seco y Retiro, after her daughter had been in pain for more than 24 hours without being diagnosed.
Eventually, the two-year-old was diagnosed the following day as having a middle ear infection, thanks to the presence at the hospital of an ear, nose and throat specialist who had an otoscope she had acquired during a medical mission abroad at her own expense.
The angry mother contacted this reporter to complain about the lack of such simple and essential equipment at the outpatients’ department of the hospital in question, particularly when the Cuban Government tells the world that Cuban medical care is completely free and that children are given top priority.
The source ended by saying that more than 30 children were waiting at the outpatients’ department to be examined by students from the Latin American School – all of them medicine residents – and that there was only one qualified pediatrician on duty.
Translated by Paul Knopinski
November 2 2011