By Leonard Gildarie
I have come to the understanding that agitation causes change. It is a fact that our people are not that aggressive and have to be goaded into accepting change.
We don’t take to the streets like the people of Hong Kong. We are a peace-loving people who go about our business and hope for the best.
Social media and the growth of commentators have been spurring an awakening and it is catching quickly. It has lent a voice to the downtrodden.
I have many friends in the legal world and in the medical profession.
I can call on them for advice. I am not ashamed to say that this has happened very often.
I was therefore extremely shocked and angered with what happened on Thursday and questioning if there is a racket in our hospitals.
My son, 13, came home mid-last week and complained of pains in the chest. We decided to monitor it. The local pharmacist advised that it appeared to be gas. She prescribed some tablets.
We decided to take him the following day…Thursday…to a city hospital. My daughter was born there.
On Thursday, at the hospital, there was a long wait. The pediatrician is trusted.
The visitation fee is $3,000 each – it was decided that both of the children would see the doctor.
In the room, the visit lasted less than five minutes.
The pediatrician took one look at my son’s back and exclaimed that it was a severe case of scoliosis. He was emphatic.
The wife was naturally shocked. She dropped her bag. She asked the pediatrician to also check the daughter too. He took one look at her back and made it clear that she too had a severe case of scoliosis.
Naturally, the wife was deeply distressed. She knew that scoliosis was a condition where the spine is curved, which could lead to heart failure and other complications. Fixing it is not only expensive, but involves surgery and therapy.
The pediatrician immediately referred the children for x-rays and for them to see a doctor. The son asked the doctor if surgery was involved. He was concerned.
The doctor was able to determine in less than five minutes, two children, with the very cursory examinations, had a severe medical complication.
The kids had been waiting for more than an hour to see him.
So it was off to the x-ray department. There, it went quickly.
The children were then referred to another doctor, a bone specialist, for his take on the x-rays. They had to wait another one and half hours to see the next doctor.
According to my wife, this doctor was perplexed. He seemed to not understand the need for the x-rays. The results were clear…no scoliosis.
In all, it was almost three hours at the hospital with over $20,000 spent, plus food for the children.
I was at work when I received a call from the wife on what transpired.
She was in tears. I told her don’t worry. Nothing is wrong. Something is wrong with the doctor. I know my children. They are as healthy as can be.
I can attest to seeing patients who waited hours to see doctors going in and coming out in five minutes.
Angered by what I heard, I called some doctor friends of mine. There was silence and then it came out.
At one or two of the private hospitals, it is the practice to send patients for additional tests, many of them unnecessary. It is how they make money. It is a racket.
There is very little one can do to question the doctors, who are supposed to know best.
They are the professionals.
It appears that everybody knows that it is a public secret in the medical profession.
I will be calling that pediatrician this coming week.
That hospital has lost my confidence.
There are a couple things that have emerged that I hope can trigger a debate. I am not normally a confrontational person. I prefer dialogue and giving the other party a chance.
However, it boggles my mind that patients wait for hours sometimes to see a doctor and the visit lasts five minutes.
What kind of examination is being done? How are we expected to move to be a first world country when we know what happens at some hospitals when it comes to patient care?
There are many, many decent doctors who would render help at a moment’s notice without charging.
I would have received complaints in the past about the high number of C-section deliveries that that same hospital has compared to others.
A normal delivery is about $75,000. A C-section averages $300,000. Guess what? Yep, you got it right…the same hospital has a high rate of C-section. I leave the conclusions to you.
A C-section birth leaves scars and other problems for women that are life-lasting.
Many of the women can’t exercise properly or have scars that prevent them from wearing a bikini.
Taking a decision to do a C-section not needed is beyond believable.
There will be fallout from this piece and I do expect some angry calls from doctors.
I will be waiting.
There is another side to all of this.
The Guyana Revenue Authority could do well and send a team to the hospitals undercover and see the daily traffic. Try reconciling that with the taxes paid at the end of the year. You can take that to the bank.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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