DIFFERENT MEDICAL SYSTEM IN ECUADOR
We often hear that the United States has the best medical system in the world. Yet, our costs are higher than anyone in the world, and the statistics indicate our hospital mortality rates are also higher than many other nations.
I suggest that the United States has the best medical technology in the world and some of the best educated medical doctors in the world. But, the system is sometimes corrupted by insurance, greed and an endemic willingness to charge whatever fees Medicare, Medicaid, or Insurance will cover. The system has become so policy ridden, that many doctors tell me they spend huge amounts on paperwork, clerks, administrators, and more than should be on beurocratic policy relating to treatment and fees.
Recently, I went to Ecuador, for two minor surgeries. While there, I learned that one of my surgeons, Dr.Luis Vazquez has conducted over 4,200 surgeries, and has never lost a patient. He teaches in a medical university. His daughter, Maria Augusta Vazquez is smart, professional and has excellent skills. Another of my surgeons, Dr. Oswaldo Vintimilla Marchan teaches medical students, and is considered one of the best.
What impressed me with this hospital was the quality of service. Their technology was not equal to that of most U.S. hospitals, but their service, and personal attention was superior. The nurses were professional and compassionate. The staff doctors were kind, attentive, and made special efforts to be helpful. The lab, supervisors, and even the low level hospital employees, used a “healing” touch in their mannerisms. As a patient there, they treated me with utmost individual respect, and compassion. They seemed to truly empathize with my pain and encouraged every little positive healing step. Plus fees were not first on their mind. Indeed my hospital bill was less than 1/10th of what I would have paid in the USA.
I remembered Sam Rayburn’s great quote when he was diagnosed with cancer. He told his staff that he was going back to Bonham. They said: “Mr. Speaker, why would you go to Bonham, Texas, when the best hospitals in the world, are in Washington, D.C.?” He said: “In Bonham, when you are sick they know, and when you die, they care.”
The hospital experience in Ecuador is like that. You get the feeling that they are a family that knows and cares. That is a part of the healing process that the American system can learn from.
When I left the hospital, it felt like I was leaving a family that was interested and truly cared about my individual health. That is why I go back there when I need surgery. I trust them and have faith that they will care for me as an individual. Truly, I have affection for them because they have cared for me. Thank you, Clinica Santa Ana. You are the best in my book!