|a view from my chemo room. a beautiful sscenery to be enjoyed while diluting the chemo drugs|
I will always remember what my professor said to us when we were in a mission to Yogyakarta few years back.
A world doctor is a doctor who able to serve humanity regardless of race, religion, skin color and location with full of wisdom and knowledge and with available resources and yet still manage to save lives.
It truly inspires us and burn our soul to be a doctor of our dream. To reach the unreached and to serve the precious life given by GOD.
However, the reality of life can not be simply plotted on a paper. If only i can write things i like and poof poof, it’s working like magic. Nope! It will never be that easy.
Our hospital was ranked among the top hospital who indebted a lot of money for treating patient and did not get the returned money. Most of the patient can not afford to pay back due to poverty and nationality issue. With majority of patients are non Malaysian, the coast of treatment are sky rocketing high.
If a patient were planned for any procedures, they should at least pay a deposit of RM 400-600. This is excluding the coast for surgery.
As a doctor, we are trapped in between the oath and limited resources. A doctor should treat the patient without any prejudice, double standard or in consideration of particular races, skin color and religion. But what should we do when we have a limited resources?
It is really annoying to know that we can not do certain investigations or test just because patient can not afford to pay for it. And the worst is when you see the patient dying right in front of your eyes while you can not do anything. If you are insisting of carrying out what do you think is right then you have to pay for them. Maybe it is alright once in a while to help one patient. But what about others?
Sometimes, the bureaucracy or policy also making treatment process difficult. I still remember that i have one patient with a very severe necrotizing fasciitis of the anterior abdomen. Since the damage is very bad, we have to remove almost the entire abdominal wall and extending to the back. After serial debridement, we decided for a vacuum dressing in which one cycle will coast RM 1500 per cycle.
With a poor economical status, surely the patient can not afford it and she will die soon or later due to uncontrolled infection. In desperate, we finally decided to create our own vacuum dressing which coast less than RM 700 for total of 6 cycles of vacuum dressing. And still we need to use hospital equipment like suction wall, tubing and few other things. All praise to Allah that the plan working out well and she was discharge well and waiting for the skin graft. Even though the coast for the raw material for vacuum dressing is low, still the duration of patient’s stay plus with coast of serial wound debridement and medication are very high. The price of saving a patient is very costly.
This is a serious matter. It is an international level issue. Either we like it or not, we can not deny the fact that even a non Malaysian is a human being that need to be treated. It is sad that we are moving towards American health care system in which those without medicaid will never get treatment.
This is not included a bumiputera sabahan who was born and raise here but never get registration their nationality. As a result, they are considered as a non Malaysian and not offered any privileges as a Malaysian.
While the NGO’s are all busy with Palestinian, Syirian, Burmese issue, i think we overlook the issue of people in Sabah. Many of them are our brothers and sisters in faith. I think, besides government discussing this matter with our neighbors country, NGO from all the country should also work together to work this out.
We should try our best to help them. Not only the poor but all of them. It is a very big dream to reach but it is not impossible. I hope that anybody out there who are willing to help with this issue will stand with me and try our best.
Right now, i still do not have any specific plan. Few things running in my minds including donation and free medical services. One of my book was accepted by one company for publication. If everything goes smoothly, i hope that the profit from the selling can be used for this cause. Please pray for me that the book will be able to be published without any obstacles.