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VELOSO, Ella Beatrice Bioethics I - Reflection Paper

1D September 18, 2019

What are the challenges in the development of medicine in the third world country like the Philippines?
The Philippines is a developing country in which the gap between the rich and the poor is great and increasing. In
terms of healthcare, access to health services is low and not equitable. There are private health facilities, which are
considered by citizens as providing better quality of services, however, they are more heavily used by patients from the
higher income groups than from the lower ones. Coverage by health insurances and social protection programs is low and
the level of benefits is inadequate.
Hence, our health system is in a neglected, run-down state. There is a need for the government to strengthen the
nationwide health system with improved health facilities, medical supplies and technologies, as well as health professionals.
The health system in the country relies on multiple factors outside of the individual health professionals. The health facilities
where they work rely on funding, access to technology, medicines, health services, government support, and the availability
of health professionals. Unfulfilled, these become gaps in the health system. Where these areas lack is where the country
needs to prioritize for further development, for the betterment of Filipinos nationwide, not just those in highly urbanized
cities, not just for those in the higher income brackets.
There is also an issue in the efficiency of the healthcare system. Good governance is what drives a more efficient
health system and allows for its overall development and success. Government funding and service delivery are central to
meeting the needs of the public for affordable and quality healthcare. To date, there have been news of the inaccess to free
or affordable medicine and health services. These are keys to a good health care system. This clear lack of discretion by the
DOH poses a big challenge to the implemetaiton of the Universal Health Care Act which was signed earlier this year. The
UHC Act is a big step towards ensuring that every Filipino is entitled to health coverage that addresses their health needs
and expenses. If the same negligence is appplied to this act, it would not be able to optimize its purpose in helping the less
fortunate. If the implementation in itself becomes corrupted by the officials in power, it widens inequality. It would
ultimately, and literally, bring the poor to their deathbeds.

What attributes do you think you have that can help you become a good doctor in the future?
“Good intentions could never be enough. The desire to help others had to be matched by a desire for ever-greater
understanding” was said by David Diggs, the founder of a non-profit organization called Beyond Borders. This is a quote I
hold dear as I traverse in the study and practice of medicine.
My strength lies in my admittance that there is more to learn, that there is more to understand. This is the root of
my compassion and openness stem from. These traits allows me to adjust myself into different environments quickly, which
ensures that I am able to perform optimally in different situations and interactions. I am prepared to entertain new ethical,
social, and political ideas. I am very open to new things, ideas, values and beliefs. I am flexible and active in facing new
environments and people. I am also usually calm, even-tempered, relaxed and able to face situations without becoming
upset or rattled.
I have certainly learned that compassion, negotiation and diplomacy work where hostility and toughness fail. This
allows me to work better with other people, to be more understanding, and socially concerned. I am able to recognize the
common core of humanity among all people. Through this, I am able to be more passionate in my pursuit to provide good
care to all. I am cognizant of the fact that healthcare must be approached holistically to gain a deeper understanding of the
various realities of the communities that I am to serve. I believe that this is a prerequisite to the successful implementation
of impactful community health interventions.
My strength is also a product of the difficulties and challenges I have previously faced. These challenges allowed
me to continuously develop grit. Due to my previous mistakes, I may be an underestimated contender, but I hold my passion
and purpose high, and I believe that I have the willpower to achieve my goals. I write this as a skill in full confidence, ever
proud of myself for what I have accomplished. I write this with courage to face the medical field, and all the challenges it
may have. Here’s to reaching an ever-greater understanding.