As my car is in the repair shop yet again, so I join the thousands of other people who do their daily commute to and from work. As it was both raining and a holiday at that, someone commented that not only do I have no holiday break, but I’m waterproof as well. I gently remind them that there is no holidays for the sick needing our help as well and I am only thankful that I am the one giving help rather than the one needing it.
During the stall due to traffic, I would hear people complain out loud why the government isn’t doing anything about the road conditions, another would butt in and say a salary increase would be appreciated as well. Me, I stay quiet for the remainder of the trip.
I was doing my regular free clinic at the hospital’s outpatient department when I was called to the Emergency Room. I rushed in to find that they were trying to resuscitate a patient, whom I later realize was actually the wife of another patient of mine currently also admitted in the hospital. I remember just talking to her the day the day before regarding his husband’s condition. And now this. She had been denying herself of the needed medicines so that her husband could be operated on. I could only do so much to console my patient and empathize for his loss. Looking back earlier at the people in the jeepney and their wishes, none of them simply wanted something for themselves but for something that everyone would benefit from as well. They were not selfish wishes and so I too add my own, a better healthcare coverage for all and better equipped medical facilities for our dear indigent patients.
As a rule I try to veer away from writing about two things that usually invite either criticisms due to difference in opinions. These would be religion and politics. But just this once, I will write also something about the latter.
Some time ago, there was news about physicians not paying their taxes correctly. I wrote about it already in my other blog here so I won’t elaborate on it. The point is, I am a law abiding citizen of the country and pay my taxes. Which leads me to the second point of contention: the alleged misappropriations of public funds (of which I have a contribution to) for unscrupulous activities. Apparently I am not alone. Dismayed, other physicians have vented their thoughts on the social media. A a colleague of mine, Dr. Jaylin Valencia posted this on her Facebook status update:
Last night I had a patient who came in because of severe headache. After my history and PE I immediately informed his relatives that he needs to admitted. From the looks of the patient you can say that you have a case of “can we just have a prescription for the pain or can you just give us a referral letter, di po namin kaya ang mag private” lo and behold, I just got what my gut is telling me. While I was writing, he would open his eyes, telling me his head really hurts. A look that clamors for help… A look that would tell you, “I WANT TO LIVE”.
As I ended my shift and was about to leave, I saw a man being rushed at the ER unconscious. To my surprise, it was my patient last night. As I talked to the wife, she told me that he was brought at a government institution but still, he never got the immediate care that he needs, for the same old reason that we hear: “FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS”
Ironically, the news on TV for the nth time was talking about the 10 Billion peso scam. I looked at the man, almost lifeless, holding on to whatever a glimmer of hope that it can give for his life. My heart just sank as I look at these people involved with this very gruesome scandal. How many people do we need to see looking at their deathbed shouting from the top of their lungs saying “KAILANGAN KONG MABUHAY PARA SA PAMILYA KO!” or simply saying “GUSTO KO PANG MABUHAY, KARAPATAN KO NAMAN YUN”.
When is justice going to be served for these people? Tsk!
When indeed I find myself asking, when indeed..
About the contributor:
Jaylin Valencia, M.D. is a graduate of the Angeles University Foundation School of Medicine Class 2005 and is in private practice and teaches future doctors as a full time faculty.