Friday, June 13, 2008

is talk cheap at the PMA?

After that cowardly initial response yesterday, here's my secondary response.

I really, really want to say something good about the Philippine Medical Association. Because I believe that there are two or even more sides to every issue. And because I don't want to think that the thousands of pesos that I am obligated to pay in annual dues will have been and will forever be for naught. But first I have to find that good thing, if any. So I went to their website and found some nice stuff like:

1. The Code of Ethics for medical practitioners. A very important reminder for old and new physicians. If we all followed that code by heart, I'm pretty sure medicine can truly be called noble again.

2. The joint manifesto on the full implementation of the Magna Carta of public health workers that says:

We are concerned about and strongly deplore the failure of local government agencies to fully implement the provisions of Republic Act 7305, otherwise known as the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers enacted on March 26, 1992. Such failure has further aggravated the poor standard of living of most of our public health workers at present who had been shortchanged for so long, and has contributed to our health workers leaving government service to look for greener pasture abroad. (read more...)

3. A position paper on Republic Act 9439, otherwise known as Patients Illegal Detention Act. It is a law that prohibits hospitals from refusing to release patients if said patients cannot settle their bills. The PMA protests this Act citing the following reasons:

*The Act might be subject to abuse and taken advantaged of by some patients who, although can afford, will refuse to settle their obligations to hospitals and doctors.

* It is common knowledge that promissory notes to hospitals and doctors remain as unsettled promissory notes even after several years. Litigations are long and tedious processes and may place hospitals and medical practitioners in a negative public perception.

* A number of patients give fictitious addresses to evade payments.

*There are two forms of indigent patients: the true indigent who can’t afford the medical care and the rich patients masquerading as indigent patients. (read more...)

4. The PMA motto

My rough translation:

United we physicians stand

Good health throughout our native land.

Isn't that true? That if we physicians have a unified stand on issues that affect national health care, we would have a stronger voice and clout than if we are just individual MDs griping in our own little clinics or whining away in our weblogs?

The PMA can be that personality with that big, strong voice and clout. The question is, is it?


J.A. said...

Well, there is something good to talk about, afterall.... ;-)
But I prefer mindless blogging!
Stressful sad atoa work oi -> maka-stress gyud mag-pabalitok-balitok ug patient to perform a special radiographic procedure... :-(
At least, we are back to mindless blogging for TBR14...

Anonymous said...

sayang dr. ness. i also checked out the website. there are so many issues to be addressed. and convictions are reduced to mere written words on position papers. i wish pma could be more dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Doc Ness, Bravo! At least you found a sliver of a silver lining. :-)

Something just occurred to me. We talk about the PMA as if it were some foreign body. But you know what? To the public, the PMA is us! I think we really should be more proactive in protecting our image, not just to the public but also among our ranks. Issues you've raised here are a good start.

Got meloinks? said...

hi doc. i agree megamom.

tbr12.5's up. :-)

Ness said...

Oo nga. Remember that proverb about when we point a finger at someone in accusation, three fingers are actually pointing back at us?

I am also reminded of a close friend of mine who is one of the top national officers of her specialty. And her heart is so for encouraging and rallying her colleagues in their specialty in order to improve health care in our country.

And yet, you know what, some if not many of the members of her specialty society remain apathetic and lethargic when it comes to talking about and acting on issues that go beyond each doctor's personal comfort zone. Ang iniisip nila, 'eh, yang mga officers, pa-porma and pa-dating lang ang concern ng mga yan.' Actually, maybe not.

I am thinking of us Pinoy MD bloggers. Saan tayo na belong? Sa dreamers, movers, shakers or sa onlookers, whiners, que-vers?

Honestly? Truly, deeply, madly?

How about some ... mindless blogging?

Meloinks, talagang pina-isip mo kami ng malalim doon ha.