Sunday, July 27, 2003

No thanks!
In India, Cow dung to the rescue for lightning-struck kids:
ANGARA: The students of Hesalagarha Rajkiya Vidyalaya, a government-run school located in Angara block of Jharkhand's Ranchi district, are yet to get over the bolt from the blue that rocked this school on Friday afternoon.

More than 399 students were in the school when lightning struck. ``Afterwards I found 15 students lying unconscious inside the hall. I didn't know what to do. I ran out of school and informed the people,'' recalled Principal Sadarnath Mahato.

Though the police station and the primary health centre is located less than four km from this school, it took an hour-and-half for doctors to arrive. By the time doctors led by Devendra Kumar reached, villagers had already provided them "first-aid". "We took these boys out and covered their bodies with cow dung," said Ashok Bhokta, a resident.
There's a lot more in the article on the state of medical care in India including this gem:
"Government doctors don't care, they treat you like dirt and prescribe 10 medicines for a simple fever. After we learnt they got a cut on each medicine they prescribed, we stopped going to the government hospital."
The dirt part reminds me of this diatribe on the vaunted Canadian socialized medicine system:
Health care in Ontario is free, but so is eating lunch from a trashcan. So last week I flew to Baltimore to see an eye specialist. I did this to avoid a two-month wait in Toronto, the indignity of being treated like a head of cattle at Toronto Western, and health-care workers that are Canada's best answer to an authoritarian regime.

My U.S. medical bill was $1,000 U.S., a price I'm happy to pay just to avoid being sworn at by Toronto nurses.

Whether the care I received in the United States was medically better, I cannot judge. But I did buy something you can't buy here: Civility.
Such a deal!