To jab or Not to jab

Source: RMO

Better little than too little (Cameroonian proverb). That is foremost in our minds now that we’re right in the midst of winter! I’ve always been a healthy person, starting from way back in my childhood years in Zamboanga City, Mindanao, Philippines. Except for the occasional colds, flu, fatigue, fever and sprain from playing basketball, I’m healthy as a carabao.  It was only when I moved to NZ, 14 years ago, that asthma, constant coughing, and flu have been regularly visiting me and my family every year.

With the advent of spring in a couple of months, I’m getting ready for the onslaught of hay fever, from the pollen, among many others. Generally, getting sick is not a big deal here, with the relatively affordable medicines, plus the nearly free hospitalisation for almost every illness.  It is in going to your GP that the cost is from a low of $17 to a high of $42 or thereabouts.

In the beginning, I had a Filipina friend who was our GP.  We had no problems with her services even when we were paying $42 as adults and lesser for our children. We even got discounts and freebies from her.  It was all smooth sailing, until she decided to move to Australia.  I looked around for her replacement and after much recommendation from our Ka-barangays, I decided to transfer to a much cheaper clinic (more than 50% less than the previous one)! If you’re the head of the family, you’ll always try to look for something that will not eat up your budget but still give you quality.  It was then that I found out why this clinic was cheaper:

1. most of the time they didn’t accept any appointments but just walk-ins and so you couldn’t choose the doctor you want to look after you;
2. 80% of the time I visited this clinic, I was made to wait for more than an hour, with a maximum of over three hours one time;
3. 90% of the time I visited this clinic the walk-in list was already full (and it was only 10am) meaning I had to come back in the afternoon, good if I can make an appointment for that afternoon, but hell no, I have to come back and line-up again;
4. 80% of the time I visited this clinic, there was always a scarcity of doctors, and staff was not really that friendly;
5. this clinic advertised they were open even during Saturdays and Sundays, and late at night at that; however, the fee was higher after 5 or 6pm.

In fairness, the doctors in this clinic are quite competent and friendly, with an occasional racist that I’ve met, not outwardly, but I could feel it, and so was just raring to get out of his consultation room.  Will, I recommend this clinic as what my Ka-barangays have done for me?  I don’t think so, it may be cheaper than the others but at the end of the day, health is wealth, and time is gold!

I’m just hoping that more competitors will come along and wake them up, for sure. I really don’t like monopolies. It’s always nice to have competition because it will always be the customer/client who will benefit from the competition.  Probably next winter, my family will submit ourselves to the jab.  But it remains to be seen because there are heaps of pros and cons about this.