Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Church and Health Care for the POOR

Friends and family,

There is no such reality here as Health Insurance! Health care is responsibility for the individual and It is BIG BUSINESS; the poor have few windows of reliable Care open to them, especially in some emergencies, acute and chronic illness and surgeries. The Catholic Church is on the Front Line and its Ministry of Pastoral Health opens doors and consolidates efforts; they challenge dificiencies in the government Health Ministry services.

The Plan for Solidarity, and Justice for Health comes directly from the Advisory Board of Latin American Bishops, CELAM. Each Diocese has formed different Pastoral Ministries whose representatives come from every parish in the particular diocese.

Missionary Disciples in the WORLD OF HEALTH is the Ministry which the Clinica Maxeña takes its MISSION, and defines WHO we are! Health is the affirmation of LIFE; it includes repectfully living with Nature: LIFE in relation to MOTHER EARTH, as MOTHER of LIFE and HOME and environment of all HUMAN BEINGS! HEALTH is a Fundamental RIGHT that Countries should guarantee and which all HUMAN BEINGS should have access to without priveleges nor exclusions.

The Clinica Maxeña is an active participant in Pastoral Health Ministry for the Diocese of Suchitepequez and Retahuleu. Each month myself and Martin, official representatives for the Clinic and Parish, attend the meetings that discuss plans, workshops, share resources with other parishes.

The Clinica Maxeña is preparing for EYE SURGERIES in the month of FEBRUARY. This brigade of Surgeons will include three from the Diocese of Helena, Montana and two doctors and nurses from California. We colaborate closely with the Agency for Blindness of the Ministry of Health, who will also send a Medical Opthamology Resident and Social Worker. These valuable services we do share with other parishes for their patients with cataracts and other eye disease. ¨Patients who can, pay a fee of $75.00, for eye surgery and $4.00 for consult with the specialist. Most patients of our mountain villages are exonerated. Care by Opthamologists, some local but mostly from the US, have been providing this service for over thirty years for patients of the Clinica Maxeña.

This weekend, I accompanied two of our workers and four of our surgical patients, to a Hospital administered by a Mexican Religious Congregation, funded by a charity organization of California and founded by an Italian Parish Pastor in 1975. This Hospital is an incredible contributor to the Health of the POOR. The journey of three hours, to the State of San Marcos, is well worth our efforts. They sponsor general and specialized surgeries every two to three months; the specialists are all US doctors who donate their talents to the poor. The reality is that elective surgeries are not availble in the National Health service but only emergency surgery, such as appendectomies strangulated hernias,and C Sections. The cost to the patient in this Catholic Hospital is approximately the same we charge for eye surgeries, $75.00. This includes transport and one of our workers accompanies the patient post op until brought back to the Clinica Maxeña.

Send your donation to and NOTE it is for the CLINICA MAXEÑA

I enclose a picture of the Hospital of the FAMILY of Nuevo Progreso, San Marcos, who serve our surgical patients, for hernias, hysterectomies and other general surgeries, at minimal costs. We are most thankful and Blessed to have them as FRIEND!