Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paying the highest price for health...who cares?

It's a fact: State hospitals don't provide the same care and service as private medical facilities. Put differently: healthcare is a commodity.

We've all had the experience when you land up at the admissions of the closest hospital, and the first question relates to your medical insurance or medical aid. Tough luck if you don't have might end up back on the street looking for a state hospital or community clinic. Who cares? I've heard in my community of people who were actually turned away with their sick first baby, because the nurses were on strike for a higher salary. The baby died. Who cares?

At the Charlotte Maxeke Academic hospital 6 premature babies lost their lives over a weekend in May this year. They died because of a virus, which is supposedly spread by contaminated hands, water or food. According to a report, released by Prof Keith Bolton, a few "contributory factors" was also present, such as overcrowding, under-staffing and a lack of antiseptic sprays and paper towels at the hospital. The state health authorities however absolved themselves of any blame. Shit happens....espescially at State hospitals, I suppose. Who cares?

For how long will we tolerate the evil, that the health, the lives of certain people are more valuable, then that of others. Back in the days of slavery, the lives of the slaveowner was of more value than the lives of the slave. The slaves would die in the field or in a delapidated shelter, out there away from human beings, who were afforded the best medical care and eventually a dignified death. Has anything changed in the current situation where healthcare and healing comes with a pricetag? Has anything changed in the 'new South Africa'? Who cares?
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