Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Some other thoughts from the strenuous snow shoveling on the first day of spring. I needed to visit my chiropractor-friend yesterday because my back was becoming stiffer and more tender as the afternoon passed. I also started to sneeze and feel achy all over. I went to bed very early last night.

Healthcare in the Philippines is primitive compared to the US model. Hardly any money is budgeted towards the prevention and treatment of diseases but instead of seeing this as an insurmountable problem we need to look closer and determine the amount of resources that we are actually saving. There is a tremendous waste of money in the American model. Philippine healthcare must focus on vaccinations, clean water, proliferation of vegetable gardens and tilapia farms, suppression of cigarette smoking through education and increased taxation, educational campaigns towards the diminution of soda and sucrose-rich-juice-concentrate consumption and the benefits of aerobic exercise. The drug formularies must concentrate on inexpensive penicillin preparations and erythromycin, diuretics and beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen, insulin, glipizide, generic Prilosec (omeprazole), anti-tuberculosis regimens and deworming agents. At this point, the government has no business engaging in pharmaceutical research and development. Nor can the government afford to treat citizens with advanced cancers, renal failure and coronary artery disease.

The Philippines is considered a poor nation because a majority of its people live on less than $2 a day. But absent a trillion-dollar-a-year healthcare system, we do not need a whole lot to live decent, productive and edifying lives.

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