Does the Hospitalito charge for services? If so, why?

Hospitalito Atitlán is a private, nonprofit hospital and receives no money from the government. It is not aligned with any religious or political organizations.
The Hospitalito has two sources of funding — patient fees and private donations. Without both, the hospital would have to close its doors. Even if we wanted to, we could not afford to provide free care.
Our work is able to continue thanks to donations of money, equipment, medicine and volunteer labor. That is why our volunteer staff and the medicines they bring are so essential to our existence. Charging patients for care and medicine helps pay for the rent, electricity, permanent staff salaries, and essential medicines and supplies.

The Hospitalito currently charges Q25 ($3.50) for consultations and Q50 ($7.00) for emergency visits. Our patients come from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. For many patients, these fees are affordable. For others, they are not. Those who can pay are expected to do so.

Hospitalito Atitlán has a full-time social worker available who evaluates each family’s ability to pay. The hospital discounts its services by 25 –100 percent for those in need. Patients are never refused care because of an inability to pay. If you volunteer at the Hospitalito, please discuss financial issues with the social worker, never with patients.

The Hospitalito board realizes it never be financially sustainable based on patient fees. The Board feels that those with resources to pay, should do so to help those who cannot pay. In addition, the people of Santiago Atitlán value what they pay for and free medical care and medicines would have less worth for them.