Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sixth Edition of The Blog Rounds: Philippine Healthcare System

A few weeks back, there was this CNN special where Dr. Sanjay Gupta discussed the health care system of the USA and how it pales in comparison to that of the other countries like France, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Italy. USA? Paling in comparison? What about OUR health care system? Would it look utterly anemic or deathly pale in comparison then?

France, according to the World Health Organization, have the best health care system in the world. What's WHO's criteria? That for a health care system to be considered 'ideal', each and every citizen of that country should have access to health services, or at least the basic health services. Each and every citizen includes the unemployed, those who live on the streets, in prison, retired, whomever.

The Philippines ranks 60. Yes, 60. Our neighboring countries who fared way better than us are Singapore (4), Thailand (47), and Malaysia (49). But we fared better than India (112), Indonesia (92), and China (144). But that's not any consolation because we know, we are still FAR behind. Why is this the case then?

In relation, let me introduce our theme for the 6th Edition of the The Blog Rounds.

Philippine Healthcare System: Why is it far from the ideal?

This is about the social/cultural/political (maybe even spiritual) issues (or causes) that you can think of why our health care system is far from being ideal?

Bakit hindi lahat ng Filipino na may sakit o gustong magpatingin sa doktor ay natitignan ng doktor?

Where is the GAP? Is it the health budget? Our politicians or legislators? Is this government incapacitating us to deliver basic health services to every Filipino?

Or maybe, there is also something wrong among us medical practitioners? Those physicians who treat their pockets more than they treat their patients illness? On the other end of the spectrum, do we have overworked, underpaid health care workers, who in turn, can't give ideal health service? What about the Philippine Medical Association? Yeah, what is its role in all of these?

What about our patients? Is it really just about the extreme poverty in this country that prevents our patients from seeking health services or is it MORE than that? Like skewed priorities?

For those who practise/train in other countries, we would really appreciate hearing your analysis as to why we are far behind, in comparison? Both in terms of the system and the people behind it.

Please be radicals , activist or advocates of change, if possible. No holds barred. No censorship. Just give it to us, at face value, ano ang bulok o MALI sa sistema (kung may sistema man)? Bakit marami pa ring Pilipino ang namamatay na di natitignan ng doktor? O kung natignan man ng doktor, di nabibigyan ng karampatang lunas?

So that just in case Secretary Duque or our President, or any body who is in power to do something, runs into any of our posts, they might just wake up and realized what's wrong. And start doing something, of course.

Please send the URLs or links to your posts to merricherri[at]gmail[dot]com on or before April 21, 2007 at 5:00 pm (Philippine time). Or just leave a comment in my blog and I will come visit your page.


The topic for this edition of The Blog Rounds was originally laid back but Dr. Ness of At Random Ness did a great job of hosting the best laid back topic ever -- I know what you did last summer. Thanks to Pinoy MD though, because coming up with a new topic was an easy fit when I came across its forums. The topic for this 6th edition of TBR was inspired by the thread Grand Challenges in Philippine Medicine.


Abner M. Hornedo, M.D. said...

hi merrycherry!

i think there is no such thing as "system" in our healthcare, sad to say but majority of the funds supposed to be for the health department end up in pockets of corrupt officials.

corruption is so rampant in the philippines! it's sickening already! its a major concern to be addressed before we can fix the ailing healthcare "system," if you may call it as such...

i'll try and share what australian health system is all about.


MerryCherry, MD said...

Hi Abner. Hahaha because of what you said, I will remove the word system. It was originally without that word, then I added it last minute. :)

Bone MD said...

Excited na ako sa entries here! Baka pwede na natin I submit to kay Sec Duque!

Anonymous said...

My post is up Doc Che.
Thanks for hosting! Great theme.

shark said...

I've blogged so much on this topic before so I leave it to you to choose the most appropriate one:

Doctors, Terrorists, and Politicians

Why Stop Me? I'm Leaving As Someone Else

In 2004 PGMA said...

What is the real living proof of RP doctors' skills?

Honestly, I personally have given up on the subject. That's why I am now shifting careers.

Best regards,

Abner M. Hornedo, M.D. said...

hi merrycherry,

i already finished my contribution...

hope i made sense....

dr_clairebear said...

sorry, no solutions offered, just insight and experience. bottomline naman kasi dito - it always comes down to the money. *sigh*

you can find my depressing blurb over here.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Thanks to the early birds -- Bayen (visiting blogger), Megamom, Abner, Carl and Claire! Great posts.

Bone MD, deadline is on Monday, you might miss it. Hahaha :)

To everyone else, keep the posts coming!

Prudence said...

hi there!

I've written several posts about this topic. I'd appreciate it if you link any one of them:

The Government Can Stop The Doctors From Leaving

M.D.s on Strike

We Are Responsible For the Shortage of Doctors, Not The Rich Nations

I believe it could be a good contribution for next week's TBR, as there are interesting discussions in each of those posts.


MerryCherry, MD said...

Thanks Doc Pru. Left a lengthy comment on you M.D.s on Strike post. Amazing how I missed you mentioning me, err, my article, the first time I read your post!

Joey said...

I'm finally done with it!

My contribution is: Not a Priority!

gigi said...

Hey Doc Che, thought I couldn't finish this one. But here it is.

Thanks very much.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Keep the contributions coming! Kahit na overwhelm ako. Hahaha :)

Thanks guys.

mel said...

Hi, nice to hear like-minded people here. doktor din po ako. May system po ang health care natin dito.

Ganito po yan sakin. The US system is in a way in a sadder state. It's a business model of a system. At kinokopya natin ang modelong ito. Kadiri. Pagkikitaan ba naman ang mga miserable sa buhay, mga taong may sakit? Ang advantage naman dito is that the Americans are at the academic forefront because in the clinics, they see a lot of cases. In contrast, the Europeans are geared toward prevention. So mas di maganda tuloy ang mga clinical eye nila. Pero ok lang sakin yan if preventive. Yun dapat talaga ang sa atin.

Now, ipagsama mo ang business model ng health care ng America at ang corruption natin -- what dya get? Syempre, Pilipinas. It's the double whammy. The Deep Shit That We Pinoys Are In. Kadiri.

Sa totoo lang, the preventive model of health care is already here in the Philippines in the form of HMOS or health management organizations, one of which I work in. Funny that HMOs are also imported from the US. Since these HMOs do a lot of Hx, PE and workup sa mga walang saket, tila preventive ang ginagawa nila. Moreon, HMOs are a way of reconciling the business model and the preventive model of health care w/o making us guilty of making money out of health care. It's sad that HMOs are limited only to employees of companies.

Haay, if only Philhealth can do annual Hx, PE and workup for the masses, astig sana.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Hi Mel. Very lengthy comment. Left a comment in your blog :) Thanks for dropping by.

mel said...

Hi, Che. Oh shucks familiar ka na before I ever read your blog. I'm just a lurker here for most of the time. I read your PDI articles ( not the Philippine Daily Idiot haha!). Nakita na rin kitang nag-speech sa MIND Convention last year. Now, I'm really contemplating to join the DTTB program. Ka-apply ko lang, but I read your posts and Pinoy MD messages about some uncertainty chuva and I kinda shuddered a bit. Hehehe.

You, Doc Ong, Doc Bautista, and Doc Banzuela. Mga idolo!!!! I'm looking forward sa review mo sa survival guide na yun.