Monday, August 28, 2006

Too sick to go home, and Too poor to get better!

Got this from Lim Kit Siang blog

Lim Kit Siang may be a political figure, but let us read this article from the point of view as a citizen of this country and what can we do to improve the situation or alleviate(缓和) the sufferings of these people. These people could be our friends, neighbours and relatives....Let us pray hard that WE can do something to directly help people like these...


“Product of the System” has written up two these real-life tragedies encountered as a government doctor in Sabah on the occasion of the 49th National Day, followed by reflections.....

A 46-year-old Dewan Bandaraya worker was admitted for progressive, generalized weakness associated with a severe inflammatory rash(激动疹). Unable even to swallow saliva, nasogastric feeding was started on complete nutrition formula milk. As investigations were carried out to clinch a diagnosis, she developed severe hospital-acquired pneumonia(肺炎) which scarred her lungs extensively.

Due to a severe shortage of beds, the patient was discharged prematurely(过早地) although she was still bedridden and unable to swallow. Her husband was told that he would have to buy the milk for nasogastric feeding on their own, estimated to cost RM 60 per tin, which should last about a week. A low-ranked clerk in the civil service, he pleaded for goodwill to prevail, that the milk be provided free as they were already unable to cope with the increasing cost of living. He was told however, that he would have to go through the social welfare, the application process of which would take some time. In the meantime however, they would have to go home empty handed. Bed-ridden but without a wheel-chair, disfigured but not disprited, too weak to even enter their humble, rented shophouse home, she was sent packing without her only source of nutrition.

A 39-year-old mother of six young children presents with severe pneumonia secondary to multiple sclerosis(多发性硬化症). Paralysed from the neck down, she had Grade III bed sores(床痛处) from prolonged immobilization (延长 钳制) . Her chests were hardly expanding due to diaphragmatic fatigue(疲劳) but she otherwise mentally alert and sharp.

The doctor-in-charge started antibiotics but... immediately pronounced DNR– do not resuscitate (不要复苏). It simply means that intubation (插管法) was not to be attempted should her condition deteriorate(恶化). One reason behind this rationale (理论基础) was due to the severe shortage of ventilators (通风筒) in the hospital. The family was advised to purchase an oxygen machine as well as a special mattress to prevent further bed sores. At the mention of the amount, the patient’s husband, a lowly roadside hawker, reacted in shock as there was no way they could ever afford to pay. Referral to social welfare was made, but due to “limited funds”, their appeal was rejected. One month and a half later, she lies there still in the ward – too sick to go home, and too poor to get better. Too tired to continue fighting an incurable illness and too weak to express herself in full, she mustered her remaining strength and begged to be euthanised(无痛苦的死亡) which, in a sense, is exactly what we are doing – because of a supposed lack of funds in an oil-rich nation.

I can’t imagine what goes through the minds of faceless Malaysians when Abdullah Badawi declares prosperity and justice for Malaysians great and small every 31 August.

There are families too poor to take a bus ride from the hospital back to their kampong and politicians who throw tantrums (投掷勃然大怒) in public because they were only offered “some useless cars” from the Customs Department.

Our special schools for special children are miserably pathetic yet the ruling feudal masters feel that a RM 490 million sports academy is of greater urgency.

Our teachers, lecturers, and healthcare workers are overworked, understaffed and underpaid but we somehow have RM 600 million annually to organize the great Malaysian summer camp a.k.a National Service.

Even as the monkeys in UMNO bersilat, brandish their keris and sound the battle cry annually, snatch thieves wield their daggers and rob the lives of innocent Malaysians on a daily basis.

We have UMNO Youth parading on the streets proclaiming (宣告) support for Hamas and Hizbollah, but no one to champion the plight of the pak cik debilitated from stroke and cancer.

The cops arrest couples for holding hands in public and crackdown on sincere, dissenting voices but “close one eye” when BN warlords contemptuously ignore their traffic summonses and fan racial and religious sentiments in mainstream media(主流媒介).

The BN government spends millions to “re-train” unemployed university graduates after spending years brain-washing them with the nebulous UMNO agenda and thereafter expects them to perform in the real world.

We have laws criminalizing hardworking family physicians while un-taxable illegal immigrants live off the fat of the land without fear of being apprehended and deported.

Our local citizens wait for months for an ultrasound scan while Project M citizens have no qualms paying for a RM 20,000 angiogram.

The stupidity and ignorance of the current UMNO leadership is best exemplified none other by the Putera UMNO chief’s vain attempt to “re-brand” daredevil Mat Rempits, even as hundreds of them are bed-ridden in our hospitals with vertebral fractures and amputated limbs, and countless more putrefying quietly in the graves of the soil of Malaysia.

The dearth of sound leadership has never been more conspicuous as now. “Di mana tiada helang, kata belalang akulah helang”. As Malaysians of all colors and creed daily face the threat of choking haze, violent crime, drug abuse, HIV, diabetes and a disproportional rise in living costs, it seems that the only issue that UMNO is concerned with is a non-existent Sino threat to its obsession with Ketuanan Melayu.

As I sit here wishing to do and earn more as a government doctor, something tells me that a young man my age is wishing to have more than a RM 9.1 million and to be more than the Prime Minister’s son-in-law. Somewhere else, however, I am reminded of a lady yearning to sweep the filthy streets of Kuala Lumpur like she used to and another who be eternally grateful just to breathe on her own, even if the air is hazy.

Selamat Hari Kebangsaan ke-49, saudara Pak Lah dan Khairy.

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