Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lesson for all

Was chatting with 2 friends from China and we were discussing about the difference in medical care between the two countries. One of them had recently undergone a minor surgery. She mentioned that chose the private option in the hospital to avoid the cumbersome processes. In turned she had to pay 5 times more of what the other subsidized options had to pay.

Then friend 2 said that normally, when a person needs to go for surgery, just before he/she was wheeled into the operation theatre, their family would stuff a red packet full of cash to the team of surgeons, nurses etc that would be operating on that patient. This helps to "ensure" quality medical care of that patient. Well, no one knows what are the statistics for those who did not survive the operation because their family did not give the surgical team the red packet. But no one dares to test the integrity of the system either. Most of the families would end up giving some regardless of how tough it'll take them to get hold of the money.

It suddenly dawn upon me that perhaps, that was the reason why my dad did not survive his heart attack. What seems to be a pretty mild case to me lead to his death in a foreign land.

1. discomforts throughout the day, rested in the hotel room
2. further discomforts after dinner, dad was brought to A&E, still pretty much alive
3. nurses and "docs" saw him and started CPR on him
4. heart rate came back on and off, CPR continued throughout the night from 12midnight till 7am
5. around 6am-7am, when it was time to change shift for the hospital staff, my brother-in-law was asked to take over the CPR
6. no defrilberator was used on my dad
7. pronounced dead early in the morning

After analyzing the situation with me, both my friends agreed that there was a possibility that things might be different if there was the red packet to the hospital staff.

a. dad was sent to this hospital under the recommendation of the tour guide
b. shouldn't the tour guide pick a better hospital?
c. shouldn't the tour guide advise them better?

To lose a dad is not easy.

To lose a dad in a foreign land is tougher.

To lose a dad and only to find out years later that perhaps, there was a possibility that he would still be alive today.... is a torture.

Yes, we'll never know the difference today.

But today, we can make the difference by sharing with all our family, friends, loved ones this same information:
Be ultra prepared with loads of emergency cash whenever you travel.
Be in touch with at least a couple of friends wherever you are.

You may never know all the local cultures and practices, some times all it takes is someone who knows to tell you to do the right thing at the right time and that makes all the critical differences.

Here's to all who have lost a parent. My love goes out to you. May the Lord bless their souls and give us peace in our souls!

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