The people of Guyana are warm, friendly, and could teach us a thing or two about self-entitlement and responsibility. I've seen a man with 2nd degree burns on his face, chest, and arms waiting patiently and quietly for the nurses to tend to him. A daughter came in with her dad who had a dense stroke the night before and when I told her what his likely course would be she didn’t bemoan it or ask how it would affect her, she simply wanted to know what she needed to do before she could take him home to care for him. It admittedly becomes tiring at home when a shift is spent trying to explain to patients what their condition is and what they need to do to take care of themselves and their only reply is whether they can have a work excuse and a prescription for pain medicine. Most of the patients that I’ve seen here have genuine disease and are thankful that I took the time to address it with them.
Though the resources here are spartan I feel that the care rendered is in some ways superior to home. The system of universal healthcare is one I wish I could implement back in the States. When a patient comes in with a problem that needs further management, or if they simply need a primary care doctor I can write them a referral and they will be seen. All too often I discharge a patient without resources with the knowledge that the next time they’ll see a healthcare provider is when they get so sick that someone forces them to, and by then it may be too late. Medicines here are administered for free from the clinics. Its not always the latest and greatest, but its what works and the patients seem to be far more complaint with their medicines. When a simple pill for hypertension can prevent heart attacks, kidney failure, and strokes why can't we follow that example?
I know that things here aren’t perfect. But they work with what the have and don’t seem to complain about what they don’t. The people are genuine and seem to care for one another. I'm excited about getting to know this place better.