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Preventative Medicine

In America we would go to the doctor for a yearly checkup. Blood tests, chest x-rays, blood pressure etc. As we get older there are checks for cholesterol, prostate, colon cancer and other conditions.

Then as we are supposed to do is go to the dentist every 6 months for checkups and teeth cleaning. At the dentist he might recommend treatments with a hygienist for scaling and gum treatments.

Here in the Philippines I have noticed there is no thought for preventative medicine.
For medical a yearly checkup with blood tests, x-rays, and general diagnostic examinations many problems can be contained, cured and or controlled with early diagnoses.

High blood pressure is a big problem. No wonder with all the fried foods, high salt intake and a diet of rice and fish, meat or poultry with low or no vegetables.  Filipinos have a need for salt, Soy sauce, MSG and even salt on fruits.

With teeth, they let the teeth go until they are so bad, the only thing the dentists will do is extract it. If they can afford it, they will get a partial bridge. This is a shame because so many Filipinos have beautiful smiles and many carry a toothbrush and tooth paste and brush their teeth after every meal.

Unfortunately many do not follow this regiment and let their teeth go. It might be cleaning and or diet but you see many children and adults with decayed teeth or missing teeth. It is a shame when you see a cute child or a nice looking adult until they smile or open their mouth and you see decaying or missing teeth.smiles

I realize the ones with the missing or decayed teeth are because of poverty, but the others with the false teeth have the means to have saved their teeth. All it takes is bi-yearly visits, x-rays and preventative care and treatment.

In my research I tried to find if there is any free medical or dental available in Davao. Unfortunately I could not find any except one. The one found is Family Circus Children’s Ministries. This organization is a gives vitamins for pregnant women and free dental care for children over the age of 5. Visit there site for more information.

Many working Filipinos receive PhilHealth medical insurance or they can purchase coverage themselves. This insurance mainly covers hospital inpatient and outpatient services. But for regular checkups I do not think there is coverage.

With all my Filipino readers I am hoping there will be more information and corrections to my information.

9 Responses to “Preventative Medicine”

  1. Bruce, You are absolutely right. Myself I go at least once a year to the dentist. The older I have become the more important it feels with regular checkups. Like you say it is a shame when people didnt have that possibility.

    • Bruce says:

      Stefan,
      That is why I wrote this article. Will I change a population, probably not. But it is something for people to think about.

  2. Riza says:

    Not many Filipinos are given information, if there were, some doesn’t really think its important. My children would have their dental check-ups and health centers also have available doctors and nurses to check on the kids, however, I noticed that some volunteer nurses would tell me that if my children doesn’t really feel sick they shouldn’t go to the doctors -which is defeating my purpose of caring for my children’s health, its really confusing for me, but I just keep to myself and try another health center nearby, what I mean to say is that check-ups doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive, because with the local health centers you only need to donate PHP10.00. I guess Bruce, the education and to give emphasis to taking care of ones health is the only solution to this. I also wanted to share some thoughts about this, although medicine is readily available for some health centers, the staff seem to be too scared to give them out, if not, they only give you for the day and you will scramble for the rest of the week, so if you’re really penniless sometimes you just go with positive thinking that you’ll eventually be alright. My children’s vaccines were administered in health centers, these are for free, and they give out free samples of either multi-vitamins or paracetamol for babies/kids. For the boosters, we went to a private clinic since its really expensive for health centers. Try to check the health centers in your barangay. 🙂

    • Bruce says:

      Riza,
      Thank you for your informative comment. It is true, between the lack of money and the lack of education, medical needs and care are lost to many people.
      There is also the miss information and old customs. I hear of ailments as panuhot and “air in my stomach”. The cure is usually putting smelly camphor and menthol liquid on their stomachs. I tell them all that does is warm the skin and does not do any penetrating treatment.
      Another problem is there are many drugs not controlled like in the states such as penicillin and other antibiotics. With the over use a person or the bacteria can become immune. So eventually when they need the drug, it is no longer affective.
      I just hope and pray education and avaliable health care will be avaliable to more.

  3. Riza says:

    True, not all and specially remote areas would have the kind of free health care service that health centers would have, and yes, corruption plays a major part in it also. I spoke to one volunteer and was told that budgets are trimmed down to impossible minimum and they have to improvise most of the time. I hope that they bring back the “let’s doh it” program by dr juan flavier, because a lot of children and families really benefited from that campaign. Can I also share this link? http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/health.html, I’ve had this bookmarked for the longest time I can remember, I don’t know if it will have any significance, but I just thought it might be interesting for you to know…

    • Bruce says:

      Riza,
      Thank you for the information. I too am a daily ready of Bob’s Live in the Philippines. He is a good resource for Davao and the Philippines too.

  4. Lee says:

    Air in the stomach, to be honest a fast drank beer or 7UP to make you burp our beard to soak the stomach acid
    We Should all agree on one thing ?? Aid and resources are being shaved either by not informing the people and allocating funds for each office involved. I have family in Bislig, Surigao City Manily and i have stories told me I believe, since I have seen things also. Bislig suffered a flood in January 2009 and deaths injuries occured. One injury was my fiance family and she had to be rescued by friends and live in a church. Aid awas sent for rebuilding and medical but she recieved none. Her papers and money gone so they refused to let her apply even though she worked at the Post office. What she told me is none of the poor people recieved and help and lived in a Catholic chruch that was overloaded.
    They were told for over 2 months that aid was comming yet news media in Manila said it was sent. The city did help the business rebuild and they contracted heavy equipment for the clean up of the mudd slides and city streets but none of My ladies family or neighbors recieved any medical or restoration money

    Seeing this I sent them housing funds, doctor funds and food care package. She and their home swept away by a flooding river and she could not even go to the doctor. Only shelter was the church with little funds to feed people.

    • Bruce says:

      Lee,
      I am sorry for your family and I hope they are all well now. You are a good person giving help and assistance. I do not know what to say, or how to comment about relief. No matter what country or what their government does, there is never enough.

  5. Alan says:

    Good article Bruce regarding ” preventative ” health care as there are many unusual practices here regarding same . I once questioned a doctor here as to why i could not get the most common drug for treatment of ” gout ” which i have a history of needing from time to time .

    Was told the Philippines banned it because it has ” potential ” side effects to the liver . When i pointed out that almost all drugs have potential side effects the doctor said the real reason was because the gout med requires follow up test every 3 months or so on the liver and Filipinos would not go for the follow ups . So , the gov ( or the drug industry ) banned it .

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