Center Moore in Guatemala

by Hazel Bodner

I have a new appreciation for emergency rooms, walk-in clinics and hospitals in the United States. We know that we will be seen and leave with a health plan. In Guatemala that is not the case.

Fresh Hospitality has been working on the annual fundraiser supporting The Moore Surgery Center in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It is the Meal that Heals, which happens on May 18th. Visit www.themealthatheals.org to learn more about the event.

Recently, I was able to visit the Center Moore and two hospitals in Guatemala. The public hospital had hundreds of people waiting on the morning of our visit. The lines weaved throughout the hospital corridors and extended outside. I kept working the math over and over in my head and couldn’t believe there were enough doctors actually working to see that many people. 3 patients in an hour if you hurry x 8 hours = 24 patients x 30 doctors = 720. But when was the last time it only took 20 minutes to see a doctor? But there were 5 x-ray machines and only 1 worked. And there were 14 elevators and only one worked. The nurses had to push patients in their beds up and down ramps (like at our huge stadiums) to move them between floors.

At the Center Moore, of the 150 children that were further screened on that Sunday of my visit, about 100 were scheduled for surgery with the mission team from Austin, Texas. Many of them had been waiting for months for surgery. Here are their photos.

Hazel Berger