My landlady and friend Barbara Rosales was suffering from abdominal pain for days. Finally, her husband took her to the hospital where she was admitted for appendicitis. Unfortunately her appendix had already burst and she had to spend five days in the hospital after the surgery. On the third day I was invited to visit with her husband and son. I wanted photos, but I was sure that my camera would not be allowed into the building so I borrowed a cell phone. Because I read a lot, I was not surprised by what I saw. The building itself was in dis-repair, although it appeared as if work was in progress. After a very long wait for the elevator we arrived at the recovery ward, three rooms lined with beds. Initial impressions: old, understaffed, dirty, nurses not in uniform, and of course no privacy. This was definitely not the much vaunted model of socialist free healthcare that most are led to believe exists throughout the country.
To be fair, this was a very small neighborhood hospital, but I was assured that most hospitals for Cubans are similar and some are worse.
Drinking water in used soda bottles.
Guests wander everywhere.
Another ward through the doorway.
Barbara’s son helping her to move.
Barbara’s husband trying to make her more comfortable.
The next bed. Note the pillow.
The floor was filthy.
Barbara’s husband looking for an outlet with power inside the nurse’s station.
2nd floor area open to the sky.
2nd floor hallway
Two elevators (only one worked)
2nd floor area open to the sky
Outside in the entrance way.
Outside the entrance.