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Crónicas No-Ficción No.1: Guatemala’s Public Health Defenders

By: Oswaldo J. Hernández, No-Ficción, Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en los Sistemas de Salud (CEGSS), Accountability Research Center

Guatemala has no formal mechanisms for citizens to demand their right to healthcare. Patients have no way to hold public healthcare employees accountable. Negligence is met with impunity and silence. When there is no medicine available, patients are sent home in pain and empty handed. They get sick. Can citizens organize around this issue and come up with a different healthcare model? Over the past four years, over a hundred Guatemalans have joined the Network of Healthcare Defenders, which is fighting to ensure that healthcare is effectively treated as a human right.

This publication highlights the obstacles faced by the citizens of Guatemala trying to access adequate healthcare through the telling of personal stories.