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At 67 years of age Dr. William Argüello is just one the some 176.000 civil servants employed by the government and its agencies. However, there is something different about this civil servant: for the past 40 years, he had never been on the disability list.

Dr. Argüello has worked asa gynecologist-obstetrician in CCSS clinics in Upala and Hatillo, the Hospital San Juan de Dios in San José, 34 years at the Hospital Psiquiátrico (Psychiatric Hospital) in Pavas and 20 years at the Hospital de Heredia.

In his career spanning four decades he has attended to many patients, including civil servants looking to get on the disability list to get the benefit of what many see as time off work with pay.

Civil servants in Costa Rica make it a habit of using disability as a rest from the work, resting assured that their job and tenure is secure.

Dr. Argüello is from Los Chiles, in the province of Alajuela, near the northern border with Nicaragua. In 1963 he arrived in San José to attend the Universidad de Costa Rica after graduating from the Liceo de Costa Rica high school.

Dr. Argüello is now faced with retirement and what to do with his life after years of never been off the job.


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