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Children’s Cardiology Hospital: Synonym of Life

When Jonathan Vásquez came from the Dominican Republic with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) and a severe pulmonary hypertension, it was very difficult for him to breath, this being an obstacle for his daily activities, such as playing or practicing any sports. 18 days after his surgery, Jennifer Vásquez, his mother, affirms that the child is getting better due to the attention of the Children’s Cardiology Hospital “Dr. Rodríguez Ochoa.”

“All the procedures, including the passport, a round-trip ticket and the hotel stay have been exonerated; technology, service and the personnel are excellent. It is a great project through which my son is alive,” she says.

This testimony is only possible in a political model that aims at guaranteeing health services for everybody without any political, economic or social distinction. Furthermore, it is giving a helping hand to other sister nations.

 For years, Venezuelan public healthcare was totally abandoned. Private centers medical attention was fostered; the first requisite for being admitted and attended was having money. That is why mental and physical well-being became a way to make profits. However, the Bolivarian Revolution implemented a Healthcare with a socialist and human vision.

Nowadays, testimonies like the Jonathan’s are being repeated over Venezuela and the continent. Thus, the Children’s Cardiology Hospital Dr Rodríguez Ochoa, located in Caracas, is considered world pioneer in pediatric cardiopathies attention.

Venezuelan Hearts are Beating Louder

 Around the world, 8 new born babies out of 1,000 have a congenital cardiopathy. In Venezuela, it is estimated that around 4,500 children are born with these heart conditions each year. 70% of them need either a surgery or a cardiologic intervention, until August 20, 2006 only 600 patients were operated in the 8 Regional Pediatric Cardiovascular Centers (CCIR Spanish acronym) of Venezuela.

After having launched the Children’s Cardiology Hospital “Doctor Rodríguez Ochoa”, Venezuela has now the capacity to triplicate the amount of benefited people. In this regard, the Bolivarian Government has arranged a formidable medical structure, a level four hospital center. This category, granted to a specialized medical center, is based on a technological and scientific high level. The infrastructure must rely on a state-of-art technology for an effective response. The total investment reaches 9,629,069,767.44 USD.

Free and Quality Attention

In 1998, only 141 children experiencing these pathologies were operated on, while 1,113 patients were operated on for free in 2010. 85% of them came from the countryside. Isabel Iturria, director of the Children’s Cardiology Hospital “Doctor Rodríguez Ochoa”, affirms all patients receive treatment for free, even the transportation from anywhere in the country to the headquarters in Caracas, as well as people coming from other countries. Until now, this specialized center has attended to 66 international patients coming from 12 countries, including: Gambia, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

State-of-the-art Infrastructure and Equipment

This hospital comprises a square-based building surrounded by a 9.6 acres yard, including a 4.44 acres surgical treatment area and a 2.47 acres consultation area. Hospitalization level covers 1.98 acres and the top level covers 2.55 acres more. Besides, there are exterior areas and a parking lot covering 11.70 acres, plus the residential area comprising 142 hospitalization beds. The most important characteristic of this modern health center is that incorporates a state-of-the art technology.

Amongst the different equipment that it has at its disposal, the most important are those of hemodynamics, ultrasonography, monitoring, ventilation, surgery, anesthesia machines and instrumental equipment.

Children’s Cardiovascular Network Centers throughout Venezuela

Iturria points out that the hospital counts on a 18 pediatric cardiovascular regional centers network. They are located in public hospitals in several states of the country. The network relies on high-trained personnel and first quality equipment. There, patients are examined, diagnosed, and even some of them are operated on in these centers. Complicated cases requiring them to be transported to the Children’s Cardiology Hospital in Caracas  are reported by regional centers to the capital city. Then, they contact the patient to inform him/her the day of their admission to the hospital.

The construction of a similar center is planned for in the coming years, but aimed at the adult population in order  to spread the health attention level. The Bolivarian Revolution disassociates itself from the real estate health vision that was implemented in Venezuela during decades, when thousands of lives were lost for not having the money to afford the operation and the necessary treatments of a heart surgery.

Even though it was an illusion for many people, today it is a reality. Jonathan received decent treatment and a helping and supportive hand. He went back to his homeland with a new heart that beats louder and full of hope. The Bolivarian Revolution consolidates a Healthcare Network in Venezuela and abroad whose main objective is to attend to the people’s health, without discriminating any social class and aiming at guaranteeing the life, especially those of the children.