BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Monday, December 10, 2007


It was past midnight. It was cold and dark that night I rushed my daughter to the emergency room of St. Luke's hospital. But nothing can compare to the chill I felt when I saw just how much we would be billed for a simple treatment for my jaundiced daughter. P50,000 for a few nights stay. It was unbelievable. That was many months ago.

I thought of this unpleasant experience when I saw Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko." The film looks at health care in the United States as provided by profit-oriented health maintenance organizations (HMOs) compared to free, universal care in Canada, the U.K., and France.

Moore interviewed patients and doctors in the U.K. about cost, quality, and salaries. He talked to U.S. expatriates in Paris about French services and he takes three 9/11 clean-up volunteers, who developed respiratory problems, to Cuba for care.

It's about many horror stories of Americans with health insurance. It's an engaging documentary, well-made and truly deserving of the thumbs-up it continues to receive from critics around the globe.

In the Philippines, there's almost no such thing as free quality healthcare.