I was Minding my Own Business

When…

I read of it on Facebook. My FB friend angrily asks on her status update: “(name of hospital), are you really a hospital or a financial institution?”

That made me think. Because my FB friend (and other non-medical persons) seem to believe that one is either a hospital OR a  business. Not both. The reality, though, is in my crazy country, private hospitals are BOTH  – hospital AND business. They provide medical care and services AND they also have to make a profit.

As of 2009, a majority of hospital in my country are privately owned. Personally, I don’t agree with this state of affairs. I would prefer having a system like that of UKs National Health Service (NHS) which provides socialized healthcare from cradle to the grave. But at this moment, this is MY reality.

When I was still in training I often had to shell out money for my patients’s medical expenses (which was not done out of altruism, but that’s another story). I vowed to myself that after I graduate, I will not hand out my meager resources to strangers just because they need it. Sorry, but I am not Jesus, after all.

 

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“The triumph of Science Over Death” is a sculpture of a woman standing on top of a skull and holding a torch. It was made by Jose Rizal and seem to depict victory of medicine over infirmity, disease and death. I would disagree with perceiving medical science to have such broad powers.

Out of training, I realized that fuck! Most of medicine in MY country IS ABOUT  business. That really left a bad taste in my mouth, which is one of the reasons why I am disillusioned with private practice.

Of course, there is also public health as an alternative. And as I am currently in public health, I can honestly say that I am not impressed with the alternative.

Those in the US seem to be in a soul-searching mode as far as healthcare is concerned. And we should be too. But reading my Facebook feeds and the comments from the news article, I am left wondering if the level of discourse in my society is advanced enough for us to engage in meaningful discussions about healthcare. Of course this is a start. And perhaps I should take heart in that.

 

 

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Treading Water

So today Ana was telling me of her ambivalence about having babies:

I have always been envious of good swimmers.  As someone who has been taught how to swim a number of times and has failed over and over and over again to learn, seeing someone do a breaststroke from one end of a pool to the other is kind of bittersweet. Me — I can barely keep my head above water.

What is the connection? I ask

 

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The problem is, Ana says, I am content having just my feet wet. I can’t go into the deep end (the one that says 6 feet) because 1.) I am afraid to drown; 2.) There doesn’t seem to be anything worthwhile about going into 6 feet; and 3.) I prefer reading my Kindle in the pool and it’s not easy to do that while trying not to drown.

 

Having a child is like driving a car or learning to swim. You have to have done it at a certain point, otherwise the energy or the desire to have one or learn one passes you by.

A lot of people in and out of cyberspace will disagree with you.

So maybe I am speaking only of myself. The inclination has passed me by. Although when I look back, I don’t think I have ever been very inclined to reproduce. When I think of babies or parenting, the impression I get is that of having a thankless job that you are doomed to do the rest of your life. Which makes it totally not worth it. 

The thing is, darling,  Christian wants to have a kid.

Yes, but it is not as if he’s pressuring me about it. As with all other things, he has a laid back attitude as far as progeny is concerned.

Or so you think.

Well, yes, there’s that.

So you think having kids is like swimming right? And now, you are what? Treading water?

Hmmm … more like wading in a knee deep pond that used to be a river.