Saturday, September 12, 2009

Helping Others: Not As Easy


The Seventh-Day Adventist Church may be known for many things like its emphasis on health and diet among others but it is generally not a wealthy religion, more so here in the Philippines.

But I guess wherever there is a church, people in need of assistance are drawn to it. Most of them in need of medical assistance (health insurance isn't common here). Its the policy of the church not to give financial assistance (we can't afford to) but to extend assistance in the form of medicines if we have them available.

What gets me though is that the people who come for help all expect, some even demanding financial help. They refuse generic equivalents of the prescriptions they have (don’t get me started on physicians in government hospitals who prescribe the most expensive brands when they know their patients don’t have money).

Just now a lady approached me here at the church clinic with a request for various lab exams. The estimated cost was about $25. I offered her the services at a nearby lab which would cost her $6. She didn't even seem a bit interested. Instead she asked if why we couldn't just give her the $6.

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