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Vigil Held To Protest Health Cuts At Nicoya Hospital

By Giordano Ciampini

About a dozen protesters sat themselves upon the grounds of Nicoya's Annexation Hospital at night on Thursday November 16th in an effort to highlight the hospital’s budget cuts.

“[We did it] because there is a crisis for our hospitals,” said protest coordinator Suray Carillo Guevara. “It’s the politicians whom have started the cuts to social security, and now, for example, we have eight or nine emergency-room patients per doctor. In the intensive care unit, there’s five patients every twenty-four hours per doctor.”

The vigil comes as a follow-up to a manifestation held in San Jose on November 8th, which was attended by protestors from various parts of the country, including a delegation from the canton of Nicoya.  Harry Duarte Rojas, who has helped coordinate participation in the protests from the Playa Peladas area, explained, “Last Tuesday, November 8th, we had a meeting of representatives. We realized that San Jose was not listening, so we wanted to do something to bring their attention to Nicoya. So we had a little vigil in front of the hospital and handed out flyers to explain the very problematic situation here.”

 
   
 

The information handed out cited 13 reasons for the vigil, including such things as the use of aggression by the police during the protest in San Jose on November 8th, budget cuts and lack of funds for both the hospital and the EBAIS clinics, outdated hospital infrastructure, the two-year waiting list for ultrasounds and the lack of a cardiologist at the hospital to replace the previous cardiologist who retired 9 months ago.

Problems at the hospital came to light this past May, as VON reported a cut of 14% to the Annexation Hospital's operating budget, and stepped up this past August when the hospital, looking for ways to reduce expenses, began to make cuts to staffing. Doctors and surgeons protested and delivered an ultimatum to hospital director Dr. Li Kam unless the budget was guaranteed for the rest of the year 

Dr. Arturo Guerrero, who works in the emergency area of Nicoya’s hospital, explained that a project is underway to possibly privatize the Costa Rican Social Security (CCSS), and the three hospitals being tested in the project are Grecia, San Ramon and Nicoya. His concern about having specialists on call rather than at the hospital on the weekend is that doctors on call by law have one hour to get to the hospital once called. He cited a case of a pregnant woman attended to at the San Ramon hospital.  She needed an emergency C-section but because a specialist wasn’t there to attend to her immediately, the child was born with cerebral paralysis. “One hour in medicine are minutes between life and death,” he noted. 

During this vigil, the people involved wanted to send a unique message using candles. “It’s a light of hope,” said local Playa Pelada protest coordinator Olga Eduarte Corea. “We hope that the president will listen to us and give the doctors their hours to work, to fix the hospital because I've seen the operating room myself and it’s in very bad condition.”

Eduarte Corea is concerned that the current cuts will affect the quality of healthcare available to the poor. “The middle class can still afford to seek treatment at private hospitals,” she explained. “However, the poor will not be able to take time to go [to private medical facilities] and cannot afford to be treated there, so it’s not possible.”

The protestors are awaiting a response from the CCSS to their recent efforts. 

 

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There are Now 16 Real Estate Frauds in Nosara

Currently a criminal band is stealing or buying the properties they hire someone else to steal, pretending to be the legitimate owners. Only this year, by the end of the month of October, we learned of 10 cases, which give us an average of one per month.

Public Force and OIJ Deal a Blow to the Stolen Goods Market in Nicoya

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Presidency Published Gag Law Against Journalists and the Media

The Presidency of the Republic on Tuesday, November 6th published in La Gaceta the law that will punish journalists and citizens with up to 10 years in prison if they disseminate “secret political information.”

CONAVI Temporarily Stepped In Over Río Montaña Bridge

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New rules for vehicle technical inspection (RTV) in January

A police officer from the Fuerza Publica, driving while intoxicated, crossed into oncoming traffic and caused a head on collision with another vehicle, killing its driver.

Drunken Nicoya police officer kills driver in head-on collision

A police officer from the Fuerza Publica, driving while intoxicated, crossed into oncoming traffic and caused a head on collision with another vehicle, killing its driver.

Letter from the Editors
Celebrating Ten Years of Connecting Communities, and More to Come

For ten years now, the Voice of Nosara has been serving Nosara and the surrounding communities with the goal of connecting and uniting people—not just people in different towns but people of different backgrounds, nationalities and languages.

Citizen Journalists (THAT MEANS YOU!) Are Shaping the Future of Reporting

“Citizen journalism” has become a standard part of the way we gather and report news. But that was not always so.

Interview with Liza Vogt, Voice of Nosara’s First Publisher

Why was the newspaper started? 
VON was started for two reasons: to dispel many of the rumors that were constantly flying around Nosara and also to inform residents and tourists of current situations and upcoming events.

Most Talked About Stories

Our editors reviewed every print edition of The Voice of Nosara from October 2002 until September 2012 and chose the most talked about stories based on letters to the editor, comments made to reporters or on Facebook and follow-up stories.

The Most Repeated Themes During Ten Year

Our editors reviewed every print edition of The Voice of Nosara from October 2002 until September 2012 and counted how many articles were printed on each subject.

“They want to kick us out when we’ve lived here all our lives,”
Oscar Chavarría, resident of Garza

“I’ve lived here for 30 years and now they tell us that they want to annul our property titles and kick us out of our homes,” commented Oscar Chavarria indignantly. He lives in Playa Garza with his wife and daughter.

 

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