Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Health Care vs. Health Business

My attention was attracted by the cover headline which appears in Aliran Monthly’s magazine, issue 2005:Vol.26No.1. The wording is huge and clear, stated “Health or Money”. I come to realize, even before I grab the magazine, that this issue of health will and has become a central-core in our daily account.

I might not be in the right situation or position to talk about this issue. But I still want to share my point of view regarding this as we are… all of us actually, are bound directly and have a full responsibility of our own health. I am not trying to re-write what has been written in Aliran Monthly. In fact, I have no direct contact towards all the facts and figures to support me. What I have, in common, is only a thought of my own. It could be simplistic, childish or anything that might come across your mind.

I suggest that you refer to the stated magazine for details. At a glance through, here is more or less what they have to offer. In September 2005, our Ministry of Health had presented a new proposal towards our health policies for enhancement. The wrap-up is, if the proposal being approved, we are going to have what they call ‘The National Health Fund’. From my understanding, the mechanism is, more or less, just like what we already practicing for our fund in KWSP.

We will have a compulsory monthly contribution towards the funding. For sure, this will bring a very critical debate and should involve the public and should not being kept just as a close discussion. My concern here is, health in our ages has been a crucial for human living and also, on the other hand, a profitable trading in health industry. Here comes the question, is health should be seen as a deep hollow for those in health industry to dig money out of people or should it be seen as a moral aspect that it is everyone rights to have a better health treatment?

I left the question for you to answer. As for me, I saw it as a crisis. A crisis we are directly affected by, with or without our willingness. So how could we survive? In today’s living, our amount of expenses has been mounting. We are now being narrow down in life as the rapid and rigid changes took place in our environment.

We have to create the awareness starting from this point. We have to take charge of our own life, not the other elements around us. On the event of hiking prices, the rise of inflation, increase in cost of living and the manipulation of open market toward its customer is really worrying us. And now, when worse come to worse, we have to put our health issue into gamble!

Materialism is no longer can be put as a marking point of our prosperity life. We are now being strangled by the situation. Nowadays, even we earn quite a number of money; the value which can be attained for it is so little. The gap is much clearly seen from the lower income household. Beside, it is even worse when it comes to the poor. There is something should be done, and we are the one who should take action!

In our modern life, the tendency to be selfish is just right there in every corner. We are less living as a community but more in an individual context. If we let this to continue, it will suck our life one day. Change that! Now, take care of the people around you, your family, neighbors and community. Also, change the habit of our stubbornness and egoistic and start listen to some advice from other people. Be positive. Why can’t we share our wealth with some other people in need? Why we have to keep it for ourselves? How do we felt when one day we are the one who needed help?

These questions should be asked to ourselves. I am not urging you to do an exercise. I am not begging you to save money for yourself and I am not asking for your money here. It is too narrow. Without we know it, all such reaction imply to the picture of individualistic. And this is the thing that I wish to break in me. So do you.

From now onwards, let us provoke out mind and our thought. Start to think outside the interest of our own. There are so many people need our attention out there, but we just close our eyes. Many people could not afford the cost of medication.

How we could play our role? Before we get to the answer, let us think of one cliché phrase; prevention is better than cure. To prevent, we need to have the awareness. That’s it! No big deal, we have to create the awareness within ourselves first. In the era of the health capitalist is exploiting the issue to dig consumer’s money, we have to be clever enough to control it. Now health business is just like a shark waiting to bite the victims, we are all over-expose to this reality. It is hard to deal with a shark, but it is easier to deal with ourselves. These sharks are hunting our blood, or in equal, health business is hunting our money!

Now, we will see how this approach will work. First we are aware of this issue, than we apply a method to face it down (no need to mention the approach). Later, we exchange this reality with other people around us. Also we can start an open debate among our closes buddies. Of course it will cost time, but sooner or later it will affect the way we see our life.

If this phase works well, then our burden for the cure could slightly be lighter. We just need to put some effort on this, and then it will cost us less money.

After all, my concern is not on how to escape from health problem or whatsoever. My concern is how to create a society, with a high awareness among them and would take care of each other in any means. Health business is always there to rip us off, but it is only the collective forces that can balance the tidal wave.
– 14 Mac 2006

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