Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Marching Again

Some of you may remember the story I previously wrote about the “Diabetes March” that our school held. It was organized by the government Health Center (they have a form of universal health care here) which is located on the other side of the playing field from our school. We made signs and then the children marched through the village chanting slogans against diabetes. At the end, they were rewarded with juice and healthy snacks.
Recently, our village's Health Center organized another similar activity (the nurses who joined us are shown above). This time it was a “Vaccination March” through the village. It was part of an island-wide campaign to encourage parents to get their children immunized against diseases. The students enjoyed participating in this one as much as they had enjoyed the previous march, as these pictures attest.
I've been fortunate that I haven't had any major health problems down here. The Peace Corps has two doctors assigned to the Eastern Caribbean to take care of all of us, and I am impressed with all they do (I will miss this free service when I go home). However, I did get a splinter in my hand one day from the wooden frame around the chalkboard. The principal recommended that I go see the nurse at the nearby Health Center. It was a very nice building with basic equipment necessary for its simple function. I walked in and the nurse took quick care of me (no waiting!), and then I was on my way back to school. No paperwork, no billing, no administrative staff handling all the paperwork, nothing! Just pure healthcare! It was quite different from my experiences with American healthcare.
I'm not saying that healthcare is better here, but it does make me realize how much administrative overhead is required for the American system of healthcare. That's just one of the reasons why American healthcare costs are so high! I'm not looking forward to returning to the mess that the American healthcare system has become. It seems to me that Trumpcare is not the answer, because those losing health insurance will just cause the costs to go up for the rest of us. Plus, separating out those in high-risk pools may lower costs for the healthy, but will increase the costs for those who need help the most. Obamacare needed changes, but to totally trash his effort to impose the Massachusetts (Romney) model on the entire country is wrong. I am sad for the future of my country.

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