Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Integra Salud…a new medical clinic

I have a lot of respect for Juan and Jessica. They are two of the first people I met in Peru nearly 5 years ago and remain close friends, so it was a pleasure for Maribel and I to take part in the inauguration last night of Integra Salud (Integrated Health), their new medical clinic. As with the opening of any new enterprise, the affair was semi-formal with speeches, a blessing on the facility and attendees by a priest (who was very liberal in dousing everyone and everything in holy water) and ending with snacks and beverages.

Juan and Jessica have been married for 8 years and have one son...Juan Diego, who had the honor of smashing the champagne bottle. Juan works at Almanzor hospital specializing in internal medicine while Jessica is a surgeon currently working on forensic cases at the city morgue. For dental needs the clinic will also provide the services of Miriam Loayza Châvez, a dental surgeon. A nurse will be on site for 4 hours in the morning to deal with minor health issues and to schedule appointments, and again for 4 hours in the evening to assist Juan and Jessica, who will continue their day jobs for the foreseeable future. For any Chiclayano readers looking for good medical care, the clinic is located at Av. Santos Dumont #101 2do piso, directly across the street from Real Plaza. The phone number is 691660.

The average doctor in Chiclayo doesn’t make a lot of money. I am not aware of any doctor earning a living solely from a private practice, simply because the average Chiclayano is not prepared or able to pay a fee of…say more than 4 or 5 dollars. Most if not all of them during the day are salaried doctors at either a national hospital or private clinic; teach at university medical schools, or make sales calls at local pharmacies as drug manufacturer representatives, and even theses positions don’t pay anywhere near what their counterparts in the States would earn. As a consequence private office hours (usually in a small room in their homes) are held at night with irregular hours, often without charge to those unable to pay.

Juan and Jessica do not have plans to limit themselves to private practice, so they will probably continue to work long hours during the day while seeing private patients in the evening, plus find the time for parenting and continued involvement with community service. They’re good people, and we wish them, Miriam and Integra Salud every success.

Tom & Maribel

(L to R) Juan, Jessica, Father Tocto, Miriam and her husband Idelso who is a laboratory technician

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