In October, members of the Austin Samaritans Board visited Clinica Medica in the Villa Guadalupe barrio. Villa Guadalupe is home to the families that lived in the Managua Municipal Dump before Spain rehabilitated the area. Those who live there are severely disadvantaged economically.
Clinica Medica is operated by Manna Project International. The clinic provides the services of a general practitioner and a gynecologist. The charge for a doctor visit is 20 cordobas (about $0.70), and medicines that can be provided by the clinic pharmacy are free. The pharmacy at the clinic does not stock all medicines, but it does keep a stock of the ones most commonly prescribed.
The clinic currently has over 2,300 registered patients. They see approximately 300 patients each month. The vast majority of those (90%) are women and children. The patient load continues to increase. Austin Samaritans is working with Manna Project International to find a way to provide expanded space and services. Manna Project staff would like to be able to provide the services of a pediatrician.
The clinic has achieved a very important milestone. After working on it for nearly two years, the clinic recently received full certification and a five-year license from MINSA, the Nicaraguan health agency, to provide primary care, gynecology, and obstetrics. This will enable the clinic to participate in governmental vaccination drives, provide direct referrals to government facilities for specialized exams and care, and participate in public health campaigns.
The clinic recently had a survey done to determine whether patients have been satisfied with its services. The survey asked clients to rate the services provided by others (including a free clinic in the barrio that is operated by the government). The reported level of satisfaction with patient experience at other clinics ranged from good to very bad. The reported level of satisfaction with patient experience at Clinica Medica was consistently rated as being good or very good.