Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Price of Living

In the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl,” Capt. Jack Sparrow was asked do you fear death? We at St. James Times believe that if you ask most anyone at this present time that question the answer would be “yes”. The answer is yes, not for the fact that death is the cessation of the life we know but “yes” because of most of us face enormous expenses at the ‘End Stage’ of our remaining time on the Earth.

Dying in Trinidad and Tobago especially of, the Aged, is an arduous undertaking and has deleterious effects on the families involved. From observations and personal accounts of citizens there is a view that medical care is extended not in keeping with the ‘Hippocratic Oath’ but with the dictates of economic conscience.

Exploitation of shortcomings in the State Health Care System by some Medical Practitioners is the number one complaint of those who have encountered problems accessing family or personal attention at Central Hospitals/ Health Centers. To be forwarded to private institutions, which in some cases are partial or wholly connected to the referring Physician(s), is the norm. Payments for Services at Private institutions are negotiated beforehand irrespective of the sentiments of family and friends, and this is notwithstanding the fact that even after attention and treatment the outcome can be a negative one.

The care of the sick and dying is not and should not be an occasion that enters into the realm of ‘Stock Market Trading’ Medical Care should not be bargained as a stock commodity. Is no one paying attention to this trend? Society has to awaken its ‘collective conscience’ to the fact that our vulnerable citizens are not given respect as tax payers and have a right to receive fair medical attention.

There is a ‘new’ wind blowing and it has the promise of change, those who advocate for the vulnerable in society can call attention to “Excessive” Private Institutions whose activities do not transpose to “Patient Friendly Care,” updating and enabling state institutions to perform as per their requirements and removing the ‘Proxy’ Syndrome from medical care.

Living and Dying, are we paying attention, to the trends that develop as we progress to mature nationhood. We all feel, the ‘Passing’ of someone of interest to us and we know that death is inevitable to us all. However, there are instances where preservation of life through the medical ‘Matrix’ needs not be as trying to those who are in need especially when all that is required is small doses of ‘empathy’.

This is the first in an ongoing look at some of the issues of Medical Care that affects all citizens who engage the services of the State and Private Institutions.