The Hopital Generale is still on strike. I managed to visit the hospital to look around, in the brief interval between the closure for a broken anaesthetic machine, which lasted a week, and the beginning of this strike. Rumour has it that it's the anaesthetic residents who haven't been paid in seven months, and that everyone else isn't working as a show of solidarity. I think we're on about day ten, but, to be honest, I've lost track.
The Hopital Generale is the publically owned university hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince, a few blocks from the presidential palace. It is a large, relatively spacious campus taking up a few city blocks. There is one department per building, all matching two-storey whitewashed blocks with green trim. Maternity is right next to Pediatrics.
Pediatrics is the only referral centre for neonates in the country. The chef de service told me that they only have three functional incubators (and four non-functional ones). Ten neonatal intensive beds in total. They are always full.
Last week we tried to transfer a couple of our babies there, but they came back to us. Pediatrics has also been affected by the strike.
And the catholic mission hospital that can sometimes accept transfers, like the probably congenital cardiac newborn we wanted to send last week. They are inundated with babies that have come from the non-functional general hospital.
Flooding is definitely the order of the day. The waters have gone down in Gonaives, I hear, but we are inundated with pregnant patients. So are the other public maternity hospitals.