Friday, September 15, 2006

Health screening? More like business opportunity for doctors!

LHENG n. breast

This is the best time to be a private doctor. The most lucrative doctoring work in Kuching is not helping the poor to rid off their diabetic complications or to combat infectious diseases, but to offer health screening programmes to the (affluent) population of Kuching. I am talking about colonoscopies for everyone (I mean those who can afford it), HIV screening for everyone, mammogram for everyone, liver function tests for everyone, Helicobacter pylori testing (why not just call it Helicopter pylori since everyone is calling it that... this is how much they know about the purpose and use of this test!), PSA testing... you name it, they've got it!

This is definitely the way forward IF ONLY... people are properly informed about the utility and limitations of these tests by their doctors. I am not only appalled by this lack of knowledge, I am also embarrassed to say that the only criterion for eligibility seems to be the ability to pay.

For those of us who cannot afford those screening programmes, let me show you a cheaper way to buy health... I can reassure you it's 100% free, with minimal (social) complications, and it's proven, unlike liver function tests, H. pylori testing, and PSA testing which mean very little if tested on the wrong group of people.

I won't charge you for the this...

For each unvetted screening colonoscopy that a doctor in a developing country DID NOT DO, more lives could have been saved if that time is spent on fighting infectious diseases and nutrition-related deaths.


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