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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2013 Abstracts

Revolution, Reform, and Reticent Voices: A Study of the Dynamic Health System of Nicaragua

James Gardner, Utah State University


Distinct perceptions on healthcare reform exist in every part of a society. This paper examines the volatile healthcare system of Nicaragua and the perceptions of healthcare reform among Nicaraguan medical professionals. Data were gathered through ethnographic field methods including participant observation, informal interviewing, and open-ended questions. The informants were selected from the medical personnel of the E.R. in the Hospital Amistad Japón-Nicaragua in Granada, Nicaragua. First, a framework of the history of Nicaraguan healthcare is discussed. This history is presented as a reflection of the sporadic nature of the Nicaraguan political environment over the last 30 years. The changes in healthcare policy over this time period are then examined through the lens of the hospital’s healthcare providers. Perspectives on public vs. private systems, the limited ability to affect reform, and motivations behind entering the medical profession are analyzed as they pertain to job satisfaction of healthcare workers.