In the olden days I was an expert at inserting photos. Times have changed. I'm still learning the New Ways. All three of these are photos relating to this post. First is the front of CeCan, second is a hallway, to the right of which is the waiting area for people receiving injections and chemo, third is a view from the drive looking downhill and away in the distance to Cofre de Perote. Everywhere we look, we see mountains.
My husband is at the moment a patient at CeCan, Centro Estatal de Cancerología, here in Xalapa. It is on the side of the hill called Macuil tepetl which rises above the city and is mostly covered in forest. He started at a fancy clinic in Puebla which was pretty and well furnished and had glitzy publicity and was private and very expensive. A friend convinced him to meet with the hematologist at CeCan. She sat with him and me and our friend in a small office (someone else's) for over an hour and explained his illness and who she was and the services at CeCan, so he switched.
CeCan is a full service cancer center. They don't turn anyone away. To use it, you have to receive Seguro Popular which everyone here who is a permanent resident of Mexico and does not have other Mexican insurance is eligible for. It is part of the government's ongoing effort to provide universal health care.
So Jim applied for and received Seguro Popular and then went for certification of his illness and THEN enrolled at CeCan. I guess we brought some prejudices with us. Or I did. I wondered if it would be a raggedy, ratty, dirty overcrowded place like some of the places I took clients on Medicaid to years ago in the USA.
It isn't, by any stretch of the imagination. It is clean, attractive, and relatively cheerful and busy with staff as well as patients. And staff AND patients are kind, helpful and truly,I don't know the right word, but friendly and warm. I think a real cultural difference that I've experienced is that as opposed to USAers, Mexicans here are comfortable with strangers, at ease speaking to them, and not afraid of standing or sitting close to each other. It means a lot of warm contacts. CeCan is a large institution with several connected buildings and lots of hallways and turns which are different on different floors. It goes without saying that beginners at navigation there get lost. So you ask where something is, and people don't just tell you, they take you: both staff and patients do. Waiting on lines, people chat and laugh with each other. One woman received bad news on a line we were also on. She turned and her eyes filled with tears. I am learning to be a bit Mexican. Without thinking, I reached over and put my hand on her back. She put her head briefly on my shoulder and then lifted it and smiled at me before heading out. Old people are routinely offered chairs, including (groan) me. (Recently a woman said how young my HUSBAND looked! What can I say?)