By: Ben Emata

My primary doctor, a young lady who graduated from Stanford University, who has not seen me for ten months, gave me a double thumbs up and said “I am happy you are healthy”. She was referring to my normal blood pressure, heartbeats, temperature, etc.. blood sugar and everything. My only complaint was my toe nails that needed to be cut off by a podiatrist. I used to have them done by an ordinary beautician-pedicure in a parlor but with my diabetes, the trend has changed. I am avoiding wounds no matter how small they may be. And as a routine, she advised me to take a blood test anytime next week. She also said “I miss you in my clinic.” She has been my doctor for many years and we became good friends.

Many people specially men are afraid to see a doctor unlike women The reason is the injection process which usually takes place, the taking of ugly-taste syrup or big pills which they find to be uglier than drinking beer. And the top most is – – what if the doctor would tell them they had only three months to live. All these thoughts certainly scare more men than women, the reason perhaps why men usually die first.

And because of these contentions, few men see their doctors on certain period. I remember well my former doctor who retired already once said “If I could only tie your neck so I can pull you to my clinic whenever needed, I would do that”. He said that because I had not made an appointment with him for three years which he did not like.

Incidents like these only show how practicing physicians in the United States of America religiously help their patients. If there is a way they can prolong the lives of people in whatever way possible, they will do that without regard to money or anything. They hold on true to their oath of office until they themselves die too. And they befriend their patients as times go unlike in the Philippines where there seems to be a wide gap in doctor-patient relationship.

Three times I was hospitalized within a period of more than twenty years, I was loaded on an ambulance, brought to an emergency room and all they asked me was may name and address and nothing else. I was treated the way I should be like the millionaires and big names. Immediate attention is based on urgency and need and not on the stature of the patients. So if a sidewalk vendor needs urgent attention more than a rich resident of exclusive village, the former gets service first.

So in this country, if one has to die, he has really reasons to die and nothing else could be done. Man is mortal so the logic says and everyone must make an exit. The beauty is medical assistance is by your bedside 24 hours a day. In our country, it is die now pay later in some hospitals.

I am still tormented to what happened in the Philippines where an American retired journalist who was married to a Filipina died because he was not treated for lack of funds as down payment in a hospital. It was a tragedy if not a great disaster that such thing would happen to an American who happens to be a close friend of the Filipinos.

This is true. One very bad thing in the Philippines is in some hospitals they allow to loiter around embalmers near emergency clinics. I was witness to this nefarious acts when I visited a friend who was brought to an emergency room and about three embalmers from different funeral parlors approached me with their business cards. BEN EMATA

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