One of the good things in working in this country is that it is mandatory for the employers to have their employees covered with Medical Insurance. Tha compulsary medical insurance was introduced in 2005, with the government recognizing that free health care for foreign nationals was unsustainable. Ang lahat ng manggagawa ay eligible for a comprehensive package of benefits including, public health, preventive, diagnostic, and curative services and pharmaceuticals with few exclusions and walang cost sharing.
Kasama sa package na ito ang state of the art cardio-vascular procedures, organ transplants, and cancer treatments (including bone marrow transplants). Sponsors/employers are responsible for paying for an extensive package of services for private sector expatriates. Magandang halimbawa ito ng pagkalinga sa mga manggagawa na siyang gulugod ng ekonomiya ng bansang ito. Ako ay nagpapa-full medical and physical check up bago magbakasyon upang matiyak ko ang aking kalusugan at lalo ko pang mapaglingkuran at kalingain ang aking pamilya at mga umaasa sa akin.
Kahapon, I went to a Hospital dito sa Al Khobar para magpagamot ng aking ubo at sipon, at magpapasta na rin ng ngipin. Natanggal ang pasta ng ngipin ko noong nakaraang 3 araw na ako ay nasa Riyadh, sabi nga ng kasama ko “kasi, nangangatal ka sa ginaw, nagngangalot ang iyong ngipin kaya natanggal ang pasta.”
I was surprised na walang gaanong pila sa second floor reception registration, kasi karaniwan nang kapag Huwebes ng hapon ay mahaba ang pila sa dami ng pasyente. Ang second floor kasi ang para sa Dental, Cardio at pampalandi (tawag ko sa Derma, kasi kasama ang facial, skin whitening, etc).
Natapos iyong naunang pasyente sa akin, and when it was my turn, the Indian Receptionist asked me for my Patient ID Number. I told him “I don’t know, it was you who should know from your records. Here is my Medical Card and my Iqama.” Sumagot siya na, “No Patient ID Number, No Treatment.”
I consider this lahi as the most arrogant kasi at walang kaserbiserbisyo sa katawan, kahit na iyon ang trabaho nila, mataas pa ang boses ng mga mokong na ito. Sabi ko sa kanya, “I have been coming to this hospital, and all I do is show my medical card, my Iqama and tell you what is the problem with my health. Now you are asking me for my Patient ID Number, which only this hospital knows.”
He replied, “Our system is down Sir. We cannot register you.”
I answered, “Then, there should be a way to register us. Look, I am sick and I need treatment. I should not be tied to your system.”
He answered, “Sir, if you can wait. We are already doing something about the system. See the patients sitting there? They are all waiting. ” Tiningnan ko ang mga nakaupo, mga Pakistanis, Indian, may Pinoy, some are still in their working overalls. Nakakaawa tingnan ang mga maysakit na naghihintay na magamot.
I retorted, “How long will it take us waiting?” Bago siya nakasagot, isang Pakistani na nakaupo ang nagsalita, “Me here for 2 hours already. Still waiting.”
The Indian Receptionist somewhat irritatedly told me, “I don’t know how long. Maybe 15 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, or even 1 day.”
“How about if the patient is dying, will you still wait for the system to go online?” I said in a loud voice, in answer to his irritation.
“We have an Emergency. ” ang sagot niya na medyo mataas na ang boses.
“How will your Emergency record the dying patient?” tanong ko.
“Through the system!” was his quick answer.
Back to zero.
Ang ganda pa naman sana ng pangalan ng Clinic na ito. Ang kanilang Clinic name ay mayroong word na COOPERATIVE… NAKIKIPAGTULUNGAN.. NAKIKIISA…. pero it seems they themselves need help. Hopelessly Helpless. Or is it because of the Staff?
“I’ll come back tomorrow. But I am sure, the owners of this Clinic would not like this. Please take those patients there as priority once your system resumes.. maybe in an hour.. until tomorrow.” Ang iniwan kong salita sa kanya.
“Hangars sitting dripped in oil, crying, “Freedom!” Handed to obsolescence still you feed us lies from the tablecloth. It’s a system of a down. Why do they send the President to war? Why do they send the poor?” – BYOB (Bring Your Own Bombs)