“Kathleen, I beg to differ with John Curran about health care in Ecuador, particularly in Cuenca. I have just experienced the government health service, IESS, and have only the best things to say about the doctors and services.
–Susan C., Ecuador
We don’t disagree. Cuenca’s health care system is among the best in Ecuador. However, as with all things everywhere, medical care facilities vary region to region and city to city across Ecuador.
John Curran, whose recent dispatch you’re referring to, lives in a village of a few hundred people. Our friend Lee Harrison, who lived in Ecuador for seven years, tells the story of a man he knew living in the same part of Ecuador where John is living. The guy had to take the bus to Loja to buy his own scalpel and sutures, prior to returning home to get his appendectomy. The clinic in the area where he (and John) are living didn’t have those supplies. Either he traveled to Loja to get them…or he couldn’t have the surgery.
We make this point for every country. Medical facilities are best in the biggest population centers. The more remote the area where you’re living, the thinner the medical care on the ground. This is true in the United States, too, by the way.
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