I was saddened to hear of the ‘Japanese Strike’, which is due to take place within their healthcare system. Doctors and other medical staff will work “according to the book”.

What “book’’, I am wondering? What are the rights and wrongs of a health system which is stripped of its necessary resources, and which book are we talking about anyway?

For many years the health system has been subject to under-investment. The national budget is torn between political interests and other needs of our sluggish economy. The expenditure per capita is among the lowest in Europe, in-efficiency and corruption is the ruler. Excellent medical staff are worn out by working in an understaffed environment and in poorly maintained buildings. Professors and department managers could be earning fifty times more abroad, and are mocked for accepting envelopes with “Spaga’’ written on them.

It’s time to release the medical staff from their life of shame and massive responsibility. They are not the ones who have created the chaos and the low operational standards they are forced to work in. They are my real heroes. The medical staff are not a part of the ’brain-drain’, they did not go to work abroad for a better pay, but instead stayed here in our county, with low wages and even less hope

It’s a Japanese strike but the heroes are also Romanian.

In effect, this connects to the usual mistake regarding the perception of health issues. I can see this in the State of Romania, and also in the EEC. The wrong perception is that the responsibility concerning health issues is in the hands of the state. This is probably a result of ancient days when the state was able to grant free and equal medical care for all – these days are long gone, and for reasons we shall deal with in another time. We are ALL in a new situation. The new era of healthcare is where the responsibility for our health is in OUR hands, and we should make sure that we adopt the right lifestyle, take daily health precautions, and have an umbrella of international health insurance for proper medical care in time of need.

It is time to admit that the State will not be able to reform the healthcare system while the reality of such a low expenditure budget continues. From childhood I remember my mother’s story about the old man who tried to cover himself totally with a bed sheet which was too small. Each time he moved it to cover an exposed part of his body, it would leave another part exposed.

However, there are some interim solutions, even for now, that the Government must think of. Some of them are already adopted by other countries in Europe… but the main issue here is US!!! You, me, our children and family.

Now is the time to acknowledge and take personal responsibility for our health while we remain customers of a failing healthcare system. Sadly, sooner or later, either one of us, or a relative, will need the help of a surgeon, so is it right that we put these people who can save our life in a position where they have to go on strike to be acknowledged fairly for what they do? It is us who should strike. It is us who should embrace the medical personnel of this country, with love and care. We should protect medical staff from the sharp teeth of political cynicism. We are the ones who should be marching in the streets and demanding the right to take responsibility over our national health issues. We are the ones who should strike – strike for the sake of our health.

The article was published on Agerpres.ro –  the expert opinion column: http://www1.agerpres.ro/opinia-specialistilor/2013/10/23/greva-potrivit—grevi-tii-nepotrivi-i

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