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ROUGH CUTS | We cannot win vs. CoViD with this




IN SO many instances, our front liners in the fight against the unseen enemy that is now making economies of the world fall down on their knees, are compared to our heroes who fought and even gave up their lives for the cause of our desire to be free from domination by any foreign powers.

In fact, the latest of such adulation and comparison was made during speeches and messages delivered at the various venues of commemoration last April 9 of the Fall of Bataan during the Second World War.

They extolled our front liners as the modern personification of the Filipino soldiers who fought the invaders side by side with the Americans who were actually the real enemies of the Japanese.

Perhaps to many, the comparison is valid as we are aware that there are those who do their jobs in the present battle without counting hours and disregarding the question that many usually ask: “What’s in it for u?” But it cannot be denied that while there are those who are religiously doing their responsibility for the good of everybody, there are also those who are incessantly demanding that they be provided this and that benefits because to them their work needs to be compensated adequately.

In fact, the top man of a leading supposed-to-be humanitarian organization that is lending a hand in the detection of CoViD-infected Filipinos who is also a public servant, at one time, even appeared to be threatening to “hostage” the government’s program to fight the pandemic.

He demanded and still is, immediate payment by Philhealth of the debt incurred due to its services rendered. The guy stopped for a while his organization’s activities supporting the government efforts. The top man’s desire for immediate debt settlement seems to be a total opposite of what is supposed to be the role of his organization during an emergency situation. It appeared during that time that he was not giving Philhealth the opportunity to verify the validity of the claims.

Of course we agree fully with him that debts must be paid and his organization also needs money in order to continue operation. But going to the extent of being abrasive about the account and threatening to stop giving its services to the government at the time when it is most needed is, to our mind, unpatriotic.
Yes, he can definitely put Philhealth on the spot.

What with his media relations adeptness and expertise in language? But then, if he were successful in putting the government health insurance agency to smithereens he’ll not only be destroying Philhealth but the Filipino people as well who’ll be deprived of his organization’s supposed humanitarian services.

And here comes the stand of the head of the private hospitals association of the Philippines on the issue. It is similar to that of the man on top of the very popular humanitarian group.

He is actually singing the same tune and that without Philhealth settling their claims for payment immediately their hospital members will not be able to meet the demands of the growing number of CoViD 19 patients especially in the Metro Manila and peripheral areas.

But we believe that at this economically crunching time and that every peso to be spent by the government counts, verification of every claim is important. More so because not all hospital management and medical practitioners can fully claim that their hands are totally immaculate.

One example is that case in a southern Davao Region city where a child who swallowed a one pesos coin choked to death. The child, as a matter of protocol, was swabbed. When the result came out the child was negative. But the child’s death certificate indicates that he/she died of CoViD 19.The death document was of course signed by a physician.

The parents of the child committed to pursue a case against the hospital. Whether the case has progressed or just settled amicably, we have so far no idea. But that leaves a big question on the honesty of hospital management whose cause is staunchly backed by its association president.

Then we have the nurses and other hospital workers association chiming in their protestation against the so-called failure of government to provide them enough compensation and protective gadgets against the virus infection, as well as their claim of beyond normal work hours rendered. The other day we heard and saw on television the president of the nurses association lambasting to high heavens the lack of government concern for their welfare.

It may be true that not all of their demands from the government may have been adequately provided. However, if indeed they are deserving as the new heroes of our times like those who fought in Bataan during the second global war, then they should also consider that the situation now is almost similar to the times of the heroes the front liners are being compared with.

Yes, today’s struggle of the front liners is not in a shooting war. But the outcome of the battle could be as devastating and perhaps even more, to the war fought by our wartime heroes. All of them also fought wanting in protective suits, defense gadgets like bullets and helmets. They were even on bare foot and walking by the miles. And there were no salaries to talk about except the possibility of back pay if they survive the war.

Our present front liners who are compared to the Second World War heroes are luckier. They work with salaries and allowances, with PPEs although they claim not enough. They are shuttled to their work assignments or housed in secured places and fed. And they are not barefoot in the fields.

We do not know really if some of the most vocal complaining doctors have forgotten their Hippocratic Oath. Or that the loud mouthed leaders of the nurses group still adhere to the Nightingale’s commitment. And we have politicians and personalities in the medical fields strongly pushing their own interests whether it is for their favored drugs and vaccines, or their political ambitions.

Honestly, we hate to express this opinion of ours. But then, we are supposed to be in this fight together so we could heal as one and hopefully recover economically soonest. But how can we, when many of us, even some of our declared modern heroes, have their thoughts preoccupied with “What’s in it for us.”

But we salute with sincerity those who are silently doing their job without looking at what and how much will come to them in return but how their work will help restore the health of the people and the economy of the nation as well.

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