First day working back at the Lloyd Moss Free Clinic after visiting our sick friend in Zimbabwe – and I am struck by certain similarities. Mainly that healthcare is unaffordable in both places.
One of my smartass remarks is that “working at the Moss Clinic is like working at a mission hospital in Africa." Like when I worked at two mission hospitals in Zimbabwe where patients were treated for free, but slept on the floor in the hallways; were treated with an inadequate hotchpotch of medicines donated from friends in Europe; malaria smears were ordered on a scrap of paper torn from a legal pad.
The similarity is of course, the inability to afford adequate care.
As I noted in a previous post about going to visit this guy Ephson, who has myeloma and is on renal dialysis, if it wasn’t for the funds my sister has managed to raise for him, he would have run out of money a long time ago. As it is, the fund is dwindling and he is liable to not be able to get the life sustaining treatment that could be available, if he did have money.
But is he not unlike the lady with the esophageal cancer I saw that could likely have been prevented had she been able to afford more testing after an episode where a piece of meat she was trying to swallow had got stuck because of a stricture in her esophagus (obviously an early sign of the cancer developing)?
Not so different from the guy with laryngeal cancer who now can’t work and he and his wife can’t afford the site rental for their trailer on what she earns alone?
Or the distraught, tearful Desert Storm vet I just saw with depression and PTSD, father of four, whose wife left him, who lives in a tent under one of the local bridges, totes all his worldly goods around with him in a backpack and whose back problem (prolapsed disc) makes it almost impossible to do the intermittent construction work, which is his only source of income?
The difference is of course that the Moss Clinic patients are living in “the richest country in the world.”