Bad odors, dirty floors, trash cans brimming with paper towels and wads of toilet paper scattered on the floor are some of the things people will find in the bathrooms at La Anexión Hospital.
If the lack of liquid soap, toilet paper and paper towels is also considered, as well as the deplorable condition of the toilets, it is likely that many would refrain from taking care of their bodily needs under these circumstances.
The Voice of Guanacaste took a tour of three bathrooms at the hospital and found that filth and vandalism are both problematic.
Dr. Anner Angulo, the hospital’s medical director, recognized that he is aware of the situation and assured that it is nothing new. However, he explained that the solution for the problem is complex, due to the fact that those responsible, according to him, are the same users that neither take care of nor correctly use the facilities.
“We know of the problems in the bathrooms. However, vandalism and the users’ lack of respect worsen the problem. They steal the soap, the paper towels and even the toilet paper,” said Angulo.
Angulo said that the bathrooms that are most affected are those in the emergency ward, as they are the most frequently used. Vandalism also happens more often at night, when there is less monitoring.
According to hospital data, the emergency room treats between 250 and 300 patients daily.
Jennifer Grijalba Powell, a resident of Nicoya, requested that the Ministry of Health intervene in the situation. She believes that, just as the bathrooms in other businesses should be in order, the bathrooms at a hospital should be even more so.
“I can’t understand why [the Ministry of Health] requires that bathrooms at sodas, bars and restaurants are in good shape, with soap, paper and everything else, and at the hospital it’s something…disgusting,” commented Powell.
On this subject, Mario William Acosta, a Ministry of Health official in Nicoya, reported that three months ago, in response to the large number of complaints filed by people concerned by the bathrooms’ conditions, the ministry issued a sanitary order to hospital authorities to resolve the issue.
According to Acosta, the hospital made the required changes, such as placing towel and soap dispensers at the entrance of the bathrooms to keep them out of the reach of those who wish to harm or steal them, as well as providing periodic maintenance.
For his part, Angulo said that the bathrooms are maintained by the hospital’s cleaning personnel every 30 minutes. However, he recognized that, due to the large number of people who use the facilities, it is difficult to keep them clean.
Angulo said that they will continue to monitor the bathrooms’ cleanliness and also provide educational discussions about caring for and correctly using them.
The Voice of Guanacaste readers share their opinion about Hospital service
In a survey online that we had on our website, we asked our readers how they feel about the service of the Pharmacy and laboratory of the Nicoya Hospital?
For 86 Spanish-speaking readers, 56% said “could be improved”, 28% said that the service is “terrible”, 14% said that the service is “excellent”, and 2% think is “good”
13 English-speaking readers vote, 31% thought that the service “could be improved”, another 31% said that it is “terrible,” 15% that is ‘good’ and finally a 23% thought is “excellent.”