Although the primary function of Chapala’s Clinica Municipal is to provide free medical attention and basic health care to local government employees, the facility is also open to the general public who seek services at modest costs.
According to Dr. Sergio Ibarra, a general practitioner who took charge as director last October, the clinic has a full staff of doctors and nurses to offer medical consultations on morning and afternoon schedules, Monday through Friday. Emergency services only are available on night and weekend shifts.
An orthopedist attends patient appointments Mondays and Fridays, 3 to 6 p.m. and a cardiologist comes in every Wednesday, 9 a.m. to noon. Special pediatric cases are referred to the Ibarra clinic, run by the director’s brother Oscar.
The clinic houses five beds for first contact attention. Emergency patients diagnosed with health crises are stabilized there prior to transfer to Guadalajara hospitals for advanced care if needed. Three ambulances and a team of paramedics are on call around the clock.
Physical improvements carried out at the facility over recent weeks will be formally unveiled Wednesday, January 27, 11 a.m. But Ibarra reveals that more significant upgrades are now in the works, with support coming from the new Patronato (trustees committee) headed by Sheila Paull.
The list starts with x-ray equipment to be installed in the next few weeks, along with diagnostic devices to practice sonograms, mammograms, and tomography scans that will be added later on. Acquisition of hemodyalisis equipment is also a top priority due the high frequency of kidney disease among the populace. And blueprints are being drawn up to build a second story with a surgical theater.
The Clinica is located on the north end of Chapala at Calle Chinchorros 29, telephone 765-5421. To get there make a right hand turn from the service road outside Soriana right at the point where the overhead pedestrian bridge crosses the highway. From there take a left at the first corner, a right at the end of the block, another left at the next street and head straight for another four blocks. Follow red arrow signs posted along the way.