Mexico’s Seguro Popular—A model of inefficiency–second blood draw

Medical Services Sign uid 758158

I returned for the new blood draw on Monday, February 3rd, the observed holiday for February 5th Constitution Day.  My husband waited outside again since the lab was close to the doors and he didn’t wish to aggravate the security guard.  I arrived and asked who the last person to arrive had been and made note of her purple scarf so that I would know who to fall in line behind.  The light to the office turned on at 7:45 but it was a ruse.  The clerk didn’t start getting down to business until 8:30.  Blood draws began at 8:40 with children under 5 at the head of the line.  I was 6th  or 7th in line, right behind purple scarf.  There were several attempts at line jumping and I had to scold a lady who tried to butt in front of me.  I knew I was behind purple scarf and the lady behind me knew she had arrived after me, so we weren’t giving any ground.  Annoyed, the interloper pranced to the end of the line.

I presented the cita (appointment) paper to the lab technician and she said that my results would be ready in 22 days. She gave me another appointment paper, this time without stickers, and I went back to the chairs and sat down near the lab door so that I could hear when my name was called since by now there was quite a crowd.  The security guard came through to check that everyone that was there had a reason to be there and wasn’t just loafing.  He shooed one or two out, however, the rest just discretely passed the appointment paper from one to the other so that it looked like both had an appointment.   He also tried to straighten out the bola (ball) of people that had accumulated at the head of the line, even went as far as raising his voice, but line jumpers were still rampant.

Around 9:00, it was finally my turn.  The nurse only took one vial of blood and told me to come back in 15 days for my results.  She told me to go back to the desk and have her mark the date on my paper.  So I went back to the desk and she told me to come on February 14 for my results.  Hmm, that didn’t seem like 15 days from February 3, but hey, what do I know?

My husband didn’t mind the wait so much this time since around 8 a.m. volunteers came around and gave arroz con leche and bolillo (rice pudding and bread) to those waiting outside.  Wish they would do that every time I had to come!

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3 responses to “Mexico’s Seguro Popular—A model of inefficiency–second blood draw

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