Nicoya´s Hospital Pharmacy and Laboratory with Deficiencies

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The Ombudsman’s Office (Defensoría de los Habitantes) found a series of defects with the services offered by La Anexion Hospital during a “surprise” visit made on Thursday, June 19.

The officials’ visit was provoked by complaints made by several patients who reported problems with laboratory and pharmacy services.

Among the main complaints made against the laboratory department were the lack of computerized systems, which means that all data is recorded by hand. A cubicle to receive documents and samples is lacking, and there is no waiting room, leaving many patients standing or searching for empty chairs in other hospital departments.

In the pharmacy’s case, the Ombudsman’s Office was able to confirm that the preferential services window (for elderly patients) is  staffed sporadically rather than permanently. In addition, the patients’ waiting times for consultations are excessive, due to the fact that all are given appointments at the same time, saturating the facility and causing disorder and long lines.

Another complaint made was that activity in the hospital’s parking lot continues to be uncontrolled, making it difficult to move patients, especially the elderly and disabled.

For his part, Dr. Oscar Mendez, the administrative assistant for La Anexion Hospital, recognized that the facility needs more personnel and improvements to the hospital’s infrastructure.

“We know about the inconveniences that exist and about the lack of personnel, which is why we can’t keep up,” explained Mendez. He indicated that there are few pharmacy personnel, which is why just one pharmacist has to prepare medical prescriptions while attending to the window available exclusively to the elderly.

In addition, Mendez reported that they do not have sufficient security personnel, meaning that no one is currently free to watch over the parking lot.

However, the official assured that they are already working on the issues, above all on assigning medical appointments. He indicated that now they are giving appointments every 15 or 30 minutes so patients don’t “collide” or crowd together.

Moreover, Mendez believes that the construction of the new medical tower at the hospital wich should begin on December of this year will provide a definitive solution to many of these problems.