A poor patient with cervical cancer is writhing in pain just outside the building of a big tertiary hospital. Her husband watches helplessly as she moans; all the while he was wondering when her (and his) suffering will end. They have 100 pesos with them and the wife needs at least 1500 pesos for her blood transfusion and a lot more than that for the chemotherapy.
Then comes the reporter. The reporter looks helpless and frustrated. She interviews the man and his wife. All the while, the woman was writhing in pain.
The reporter accompanies both to the heartless hospital that won’t admit them. The hospital, out of fear of negative media coverage, admits the patient and make her wait in the Admitting Section. They would still have to procure blood.
The secretary of health appears on the screen saying they are doing their best to achieve universal healthcare. A medical activist appears saying that this is what happens when healthcare is privatized.
I haven’t heard from the doctor to whom the patient was decked.
But I imagine that this must be his/her story:
Dr. Z has been on duty and without sleep for 48 hours. Technically, Dr. Z was on duty for 24 hours but the reality is Dr. Z has been staying in the hospital for three straight days because of complicated patients their team has to take care of. Dr. Z is a resident-in-training and aside from taking care of the patients’s medical needs, Dr. Z has to take on the role of nurse, midwife, utility worker and social worker because the hospital lack the staff to provide adequate nursing, midwifery, janitorial and social work services to the patients. Now this cervical cancer patient comes in just as Dr.Z’s shift is about to end (the shift will end but the work will not). Dr. Z sighs and thinks, I will have to shell out the 1500 pesos for the blood, so that I can transfer her to the Oncology service, oh god 1500, I was planning to buy mommy her present, sorry mom, cervical cancer patient trumps your birthday any day, when I graduate, I am promptly going to another country, preferably first world where I don’t have to be a social worker and doctor at the same time, i am so sleepy, this day will never end .. lord please kill me now.