Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23rd 2010 - Frustrations and Sadness

One of the things that often frustrates me here is “process”

For example:
You go to the bank in the States and if there is no line, you can take care of your business very quickly. They can even help you if you don’t have your account number or bank book with you… all they do is pull your name up on the computer and voila. You have a question? No problem… ‘Here – let me get you a cup of coffee’ while you wait 3 minutes for the service rep.

Or. You go to the doctor’s office – again – they not only have very detailed written records on actual paper, but it is also transcribed into their computer system. They have lots of personal information – which MIGHT seem intrusive to some – they gather and regularly update addresses and phone numbers – you name it, they probably have the information.

Here is a struggle we’ve been having. We’re trying to locate a little boy with a heart murmur. The medical delegation that was here in March discovered this boy’s problem during their last clinic day in Berlin. They later found out that there is an organization that is willing to evaluate him for possible surgery when their organization’s delegation comes in June.

Our problem: we only have the boy’s first and middle name. We also have the names of two women – the women just before and just after the boy’s registration number. One of these women might be his mother. Well. Here in El Salvador they always file a child’s folder under the FATHER’s last name… whether the father is in the picture or not. So even having the name of the mother … in her record there is hardly anything. There is NO personal data like phone numbers or addresses – so there is no way to find either of them to see if this little boy is theirs.

It is SO frustrating and it is heartbreaking to think that we came “this close” to being able to help this little boy.

We spoke to the clinic director, the head nurse and the registration desk. They checked their records for the day but no referrals were made for him. They remembered him only vaguely from that chaotic day. And they did not take any information from the family, because the boy did not have a consultation with one of the Berlin Clinic doctors.

We even asked the Berlin Physical Therapy Clinic if they know him – they help children with a vast variety of infirmities … but they do not know him.

We don’t know what else we can do.

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