Complaints about deficient facilities, delays and a lack of attention have been increasing at the Metropolitan Hospital in Monterrey, Nuevo León.
The majority of people with whom the newspaper Milenio spoke at the hospital about patient services said they had had a negative experience, with a shortage of operating rooms being one of the most frequently cited problems.
One woman related that her husband was admitted to the hospital due to a gallbladder attack but after tests were done he was discharged because the attack had passed. However, the next day he had the same symptoms only to be told that there were no operating rooms available and a procedure would have to be scheduled for a later date.
Another woman, concerned about the health of a daughter with a stomach condition, recounted a similar story.
“She had a very high temperature, they took her blood, did a CT scan but they said there was nowhere to operate on her, there are no operating rooms [and] that they were going to schedule it [but] in that time many things can happen.”
Another woman whose son had fractured his arm said that apart from the lack of attention, a lot of staff members at the hospital were arrogant. She said they were kept waiting and told that nothing could be done and it wasn’t until she came across a good-humored security guard who accompanied her to speak to a coordinator that her son received attention.
Others complained of poor hygiene in washrooms and other parts of the hospital.
Apart from a lack of space, underfunding is also an issue.
Last Sunday federal National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Juan Carlos Ruiz said that more funds need to be dedicated to hospitals across the nation and that the Monterrey Metropolitan Hospital required 117 million pesos (US $6.5 million) for an upgrade.
Long lineups created by new security measures have also been a source of inconvenience for visitors. The lone elevator can only be used to ascend the hospital’s 10 stories while the stairs are solely for descending. And the elevator only goes up for three people or more.
A security guard said the measure was intended to give more control over visits.
The newspaper El Norte reported the restrictions have presumably followed several attempts to kidnap babies in clinics in the state during recent months.