When the cost of medicine takes the money needed to survive
SANTO DOMINGO. After working for nearly half a lifetime, many Dominicans end up with a laughable pension that does not cover their health expenses at an age when the body begins to break down.
There are many cases, but on this occasion, this writer took the stories of three elderly persons who are forced to go to a public hospital, because the money does not even cover their medications.
Ramon Troncoso, 74, still has the strength to work on a private farm in Bayaguana, where he is paid RD$1500 a month, of which he has to use RD$1300 to buy a box of pills that contain 30 tablets.
He has been under treatment for prostatic hypertrophy which obliges him to have a catheter which must be changed every two weeks.
“Because I live on the same farm where I work, I’m a little better off, since they give me food there and a bed, but sometimes, if they change the treatment, the money is not enough,” he said.
When he has to go to the Francisco Moscoso Puello Hospital, where he was transferred from the Luis Eduardo Aybar Hospital, before it was demolished, he has to spend RD$95 on bus and car fares.
Paula and Angela
In the case of Paula Carriño Uribe, after working for more than 20 years for the State she received a pension in 2005 of RD$4500.
She has the subsidized health insurance and every three months she has to see the cardiologist and the endocrinologist in order to provide follow-up for health problems related to each area.
She resides in the Capotillo sector, and is 70 years old and the daily treatment of the two ailments consumes more than RD $7000 a month.
Recently, she took the decision to change one of the pills that were indicated for another of less potency, because when she went to buy it the pharmacy did not have it available.
The medicine was Gripidol M4 which she decided to change for the M2 which is less potent, but the price is similar.
This is a situation which the patients tend to experience, perhaps ignoring that they are putting their lives at risk.
Another case is that of Angela Jimenez, 60 years old.
She has private medical insurance, but she prefers to go to the public hospital because she feels that they give her better attention.
In comparison with the others she is the one who can best afford her medications.
She says she has the luck that everything that she is prescribed is sold in the Peoples Pharmacies (Promese) and that with RD$100 she has enough to buy her pills for diabetes, high pressure and gastric problems.
July 8, 2015
Category: DR News |