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the next time i complain …

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… about our health care system, remind me how dramatically different things work just around the corner from where we live. Beth Goldring is a 67-year old American, a former ballet dancer, university humanities teacher and human rights worker. She was ordained a Rinzai Zen nun in 1995 and currently directs Brahmavihara, a chaplaincy program providing services to destitute AIDS patients and their families in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Here’s an excerpt from her newsletter —

“The government, without announcement, set a policy that anybody more than five days late for their medicines after three months is automatically cut from the rolls of patients receiving medicines (three-month appointments are now standard for people, except when the hospitals run out of medicines and can only give for shorter periods). Neither patients nor doctors were informed of this. We first heard about it from a doctor we are close to, who discovered it when he went to give medicines for someone and found the records gone.  

“Ta Heng, our beloved schizophrenic patient, went for medicines in early April only to find he could not receive them. We and Maryknoll [a Catholic mission] have covered his situation, which remains complicated, but we don’t know how many other patients have been cut off.  Most people who come late for their medicines are poor and come late because it is hard to find the money for transportation. I found out more recently that patients taken off the rolls theoretically can go to one government-run clinic for treatment; we don’t know yet if this actually works.”

Click here to see Beth’s annual support, budget, and donation site.

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