One of the reasons for starting this blog is to help people realize the importance of setting aside money for healthcare. Even if they have health insurance, even if they feel very healthy, even while they are still young and can’t imagine that they might get sick, even if they have a job and so on, money for healthcare should still be set aside. There is no room for excuses.
Financial planners always admonish us to start building an emergency fund and our retirement plan. We save up for buying a car, a house, weddings, birthday celebrations, high tech gadgets and for anything that we wish to acquire. But we don’t plan and save for being sick.
“Hindi kami handa sa gastos” (“We were not ready for the expenses”)
“Biglaan kasi” (“It happened so suddenly”)
I often here these words from patients or relatives when they are suddenly stricken with illness. They sometimes question “Bakit naman nangyari ito sa akin” (“Why is this happening to me?”) or “Bakit naman ngayon pa ito nangyari?” (“Why did this happen now?”). Most of the time, all I can say is “Ganun talaga” (“That’s just the way things are. These things really happen”). You see, life generally doesn’t warn us when it will strike out on us especially when it comes to being sick. Quite often, there are no warning signals. It will hit us when it hits us. No one is exempted (not even doctors). For a newbie, it is very difficult to comprehend but after seeing them over and over and over, I have realized that the best defense is simply being prepared. Minimize our risks but still always be prepared for damage. I have embraced this fact and it felt liberating. That is just the way life is.
If there is something that I am thankful for in becoming a doctor, it is in having realized these things long before they happen to me and I am taking every step I can to be prepared. Becoming a doctor made me realize how important money is and that I need to learn about the trinity of money and to take this study seriously which is why I became a registered financial planner and continue to educate myself regularly.
I have been practicing medicine for more than 10 years. Breaking the bad news is already something which is commonplace for me. I have learned the technique and mastered the art. But despite that, it still breaks my heart every time I do it. What crushes me more is when patients’ suffering is compounded by the lack of resources. It makes the situation bitterly painful. Hence, it is my obligation to let you know. Please listen to me.