We had opportunity last week to host a site visit from US surgeons, looking for areas where they can serve. Darwin set up appointments at the two public hospitals here to see what possibilities there would be to have them help.
The interviews we had in both hospitals were quite enlightening. I have some experience going into both to visit with groups, but nothing on this level of administrative sides of things, and to learn more of the needs, as well as the goals and how the hospitals work.
I learned that Hospital Escuela, the main public hospital for the entire country, has 13,000 beds in the hospital. (Darwin has routinely told me that every day there are 20,000 patients between inpatient and outpatient...knowing how many beds there are helped me believe that seemingly inflated number.)
I also learned that the general surgeries going on at San Felipe across town were not being done because that was part of the hospital's mission. It was odd to hear to start the meeting the five areas of focus for the hospital...especially when general surgery was not one of those areas. Turns out, the only reason the hospital does general surgery is because of the overwhelming need in the population that Hospital Escuela cannot handle. Even then...just one of the doctors we met with, to show just how big the need was, told us he had more than 400 patients on his waiting list.
Here is where you can pray...in general for a system here that has good doctors and administrators fighting to give the population here the care it needs. It is a different kind of battle, very complex, and sometimes on many fronts...with finances, circumstances, other administrators, etc.
You can also pray because after seeing the installations there, and the installations we have at the clinic, the surgeons decided that the best place where they could help and do that to honor Christ would be with us in the clinic. There is nothing definite at this point, just a decision to pray, and for us to budget how much a surgical wing would cost, and see where God takes it from there. Surgery has been an area for the clinic (possibly future hospital?) that has been a dream a long time coming. Many years in fact. Somewhat patiently, we wait. Right now that seems much closer...but again I warn us (read: myself), that while we plan, work and pray, that for the most part this is very much up in the air. Just pray that God's will would be done...and that it would be clear and present to us who routinely need refreshers on that.