Our Readers' Opinions
March 19, 2013
Economic sustainability – SVG – Part 3

Tue Mar 19, 2013

Editor: To further elaborate on the previous points made, if a country’s economy cannot find its head above water, one can be sure that assets and everything depending on it will drown, unless some intervention is introduced that will invigorate flourishing ideas and actions.{{more}}

Absolutely important to human well-being is health. If one is not physically, mentally, spiritually, psychologically and physiologically healthy, normal functioning of the body is highly unlikely. To promote health and wellness amongst citizens, properly functioning, fully equipped, clean and efficient health institutions and services must be present. The health care system should be a responsible unit which is dedicated to all patients and clients. How are persons to exercise confidence in a system that brings about worry and negligence?

Is the Ministry of Health doing enough to provide quality service to all, while at the same time maintaining feasible funding? There are reports of individuals, both national and non-national, who needed to seek medical attention and attended the General Hospital where treatment was inadequate. For this reason, they had to travel regionally or internationally immediately, and in some cases where personal funds were unavailable. Is it true that officials of our General Hospital have found ways and means of exploiting the system to benefit the health of themselves, families and friends and have left the lives of patients to flounder?

While this is done in good faith, St Vincent and the Grenadines has a vast number of surgeons, doctors, nurses and medically affiliated officials who are trained to handle these situations. To compliment their expertise, proper supplies and instruments should be in place. This would enable more operations to be carried out at a reduced cost to patients, as well as the hospitals. With plans to market our country, this area cannot be left behind. More emphasis needs to be placed on training and specialising doctors and advocating a change in the health industry, not only for patients, but for medical officials and resultantly an ease of the economy’s pocket. On the other hand, there are housekeeping matters to discuss.

Contrary to public opinion, is it fair to say that despite supply shortages, some doctors are not competent enough to perform their duties to full potential? Or, do they wilfully administer patients with less-than-ideal treatment? Consider. A patient with a health problem or associated symptoms will consult a doctor for advice and necessary check-ups. The doctor will either prescribe medication specific to the problem or recommend visiting another doctor specific to the area of concern. The patient may visit the following doctor, discuss the problem and leave, satisfied or worried having sought through the options for help. Why should a patient return again to the same doctor on account of the same illness, same symptoms and cry no improvement? Does any of this sound familiar?

Are doctors using their knowledge of the situation to fool patients into visiting regularly and unnecessarily and even to vindictively overcharge them when better service could have been offered in the first place? If such is the truth, then our doctors must carefully examine their practice methods and how they affect the well-being of their patients, themselves and the country. After all, their daily bread is bought from looking after the sick.

Who is responsible for evaluating these medical practitioners?

This brings further enlightenment on how we take care of our bodies. For those who find it fit to abuse their bodies for pleasure, relaxation and business, don’t think that it will magically become brand new when one pleases and a trip to the doctor helps every time. Too often persons brutalize themselves, their loved ones, acquaintances and even the innocent animals they claim as their own.

It is surprising to know that so many persons love to have pets, either for themselves or their children. Nevertheless, after a while, their responsibility to these animals becomes a burden. They may vent frustration on them, neglect or chase them. This may sound like the problem of a first or second world country and is an insignificant problem here in St Vincent. How often are stray dogs seen roaming the streets and schools of St Vincent, looking starved, unhealthy and on the verge of death? Being in this condition, these animals can spread diseases whether air-borne or water-borne to us humans without our knowledge and this can cause serious damage to our health if untreated – an indirect blow on theeconomy.

If these animals are properly maintained at home, these situations would not develop in the first place. A powerful point to note is that the way in which animals are treated is a reflection of the character of their caretakers. Remember that God gave man the responsibility to care for animals. Let us not mutilate them because of an evil and selfish nature; and even though they are soulless, our souls will definitely be dealt with accordingly.

From year to year, much money and resources are pooled into the development of the health sector. It would seem that persons are disregarding this initiative and wasteful dollars and scarce resources go down the drain. It is not that we are any worse than the world; we have much to offer as a country.

St Vincent and the Grenadines has a wealth of resources at its fingertips – it has many talents, but it appears as though its citizens are unaware of how to fully utilise them.

  •  Additional information in Part 4

Elizabeth Bullock