Currently, El Barril does not have any permanent health professionals living or working in the community. A small traveling clinic, composed of one doctor and two nurses, visits the community every few months. Previously, the traveling clinic worked from a small building that didn’t accommodate the needs of the patients and the doctors. After several years of assessing the health needs of El Barril, a new health clinic will be opened in April 2015.
The new clinic includes a waiting room and two examination rooms, with stronger walls for more privacy. The clinic will incentivize the traveling doctors to come more frequently. This is necessary in order for the community members to receive monthly medications, which are brought and distributed by the traveling doctors.
The Health Committee, which is composed of seven residents of El Barril, will oversee the maintenance of the clinic and the scheduling of appointments once the clinic is open. Additional future health initiatives include petitioning the government for a permanent doctor, or even a doctor in residence to be stationed at the clinic in El Barril for one year at a time. The community would benefit from having someone in the community to constantly monitor and treat ailments, as the closest doctor’s office is in Guerrero Negro, a three-hour drive away. In addition, many of the community members who don’t currently have regular access to their medications would be able to receive medications more frequently with a permanent doctor stationed in El Barril’s new health clinic.