What the health sector can learn from the papal visit

An orderly nation translates to better health. With less traffic translating to less stress, and more efficient services translating to better quality of life, efficiency is the mark of a healthy country. It is no wonder that we see prolonged life expectancies in countries with discipline. Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and other nations don’t seem to require much to enforce order.

Discipline has been an ingrained culture for them, a process of civilization. Here, it takes tough words and political will…or the pope himself. Or maybe it should just take a national commitment to a better future

3. It’s not about the person, it’s about his message. Lead by service.

On multiple occasions, the Pope has admonished Filipinos not to give much attention to him, but to Christ, who he represents. He asked us to take down posters and tarpaulins of his image, and replace them with Christ’s. Can you imagine a doctor’s clinic without all the certificates and accolades on the walls? Health care shouldn’t be about self-aggrandizement of health care workers, it should be about leading by serving.

Expanding from beyond the clinic to our own country, we know that there are so many of our leaders rushing to place themselves on posters, tarpaulins, programs, and buildings. They use taxpayers’ money to put their faces and names on barangay ambulances, hospitals, and roads. They have earned the label “epal," and deservedly so. This isn’t leading by serving, but leading by posting.

With the 2016 election looming, and filing of certificates of candidacy coming this October, perhaps we should focus on the message of our leaders, instead of their personal lives. Perhaps, it shouldn’t be about their family name, or their celebrity status but their platforms.

Perhaps, we should ask the harder questions: Did they lead by serving? What have they done for health care? Did they make things better?

I hope our country moves toward real reform and change. Sana hindi ito pakitang Papa lamang. (I hope we don't just pretend for Pope's sake) - Rappler.com 

Dr Adrian Paul Rabe is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. He was the youngest to pass the Philippine Medical Board and the Philippine Specialty Board of Internal Medicine. He is now a consultant for health policy and evidence-based medicine, primarily pursuing the implementation of Universal Health Care.

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