Medical care

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Thursday, February 6, 2014

WHEN one falls sick today, he better have money to spend for his medical care or be one who could go into medical indebtedness. Or he can seek medical care from district hospitals put up by the government in each political district of the province.

We have one in Balamban, constructed in a lot far from the town’s cemeteries--one of which is Catholic, one is owned by the Mormons, one is a commercial cemetery, and the fourth is owned by the town.

Consequently, the hospital has become the butt of jokes. Because of a perceived lack of facilities and lax or not very “compassionate” service by the hospital doctors, nurses, and aides, they say that they will just crawl to any of the four graveyards of their choice, or whichever one would accept them at minimal cost.


The joke might be rather grim and painful, but at present, it has a deep sting of reality. I am not saying this without a grain of truth. In the last couple of weeks, my two great-great grandchildren had to be hospitalized because of pneumonia and amoebic infection.

The parent brought their 3-month old daughter to a private medical clinic that is quite costly by the standards of the Balamban town folk. But the clinic offers a better medical service compared with the other private clinics in the community.

Consequently, when the parents were allowed to go home after three nights in the medical clinic, they were charged an additional few thousand pesos on top of their initial deposit of P5,000. When their one and a half year-old son began to vomit and refused to take food, they decided not to return to the clinic and rushed to the district hospital.

Of course, they were appalled at what they encountered there. First off, the room they were placed into was just a ward with other children patients. The beds were close together, there were no bed sheets, and the windows had to stay open because there were no electric fans for the children patients.

For the first day, no medicine was given to the child, except the one mixed with dextrose fluid. The reason given was that the child was still under observation. When a prescription was given the next day, they were told to buy the medicine, since the hospital cannot provide for it.

My point in this exercise is that majority of our people are poor, but they also need medical care, the same as the moneyed one among us. They have to live, too, and survive just like the rest of us.

There was the money from the congressional allowances, the so-called billions of pesos in pork barrel funds. Why couldn’t they be diverted to fund the purchase of medicines for the patients of the district hospitals throughout the nation?

I think our masses deserve good health, too.

Well, let it not be said that what we are saying is just dream, a hope, or a wish. But I do so with a prayer that our leaders would have the compassion to look to the need of the poor.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 07, 2014.


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