A mother comes rushing to the emergency department carrying a limp, pale and poorly nourished child. His skin is crinkled and he is crying but you can barely hear the sound and you can see that the child doesn’t have the energy to give out a normal cry. He looks extremely tired; his pulse is barely palpable (felt), his crying eyes have no tears and by just looking at him, you can feel that he is begging for mercy.
He has been having diarrhea (loose bowel movement/LBM) for 3 days now. He has already lost considerable amounts of fluids. His mother has not been irresponsible. She brought him to the nearest hospital on the first day, on the second day and then finally now, the third day. Every time she brought him, the doctors would only give him oral rehydration therapy because the child was not sick enough to be admitted. The doctors are managing the limited resources and are forced to make these kinds of decisions. Now that the child is so sick and the hospital is forced to admit him. We can only hope that it is not yet too late.
A woman in her middle sixties is diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor and is now needing to undergo further treatment to lessen the likelihood of recurrence of her tumor. She has already spent her savings on the surgery and will have to scrape by to pursue the additional treatment.
A middle aged man, suddenly experienced severe excruciating pain in the middle of his chest while he was at work. He was rushed to the emergency department and was given a diagnosis of a heart attack. He needs to immediately undergo a procedure that will prevent massive damage on his heart. The procedure will cost P300,000 to P500,000. The procedure was eventually done. He is well now but his hospital bills amounted to almost half a million pesos. He doesn’t know how he can pay for his bills.
These are not figments of my imagination. These are actual situations that I have encountered all these years and continue to encounter every single day. These patients have helped me realize that ……