Towards better Health Care

Winter is upon us, that wonderful season of (relatively) low temperatures, beautiful clouds, rain and a large assortment of interesting meteorological phenomena.

Winter is also the season for the onslaught of disease, which brings me to today’s subject.

 Dealing with one’s health has become an absolute nuisance these days. It’s a classic case of (over) specialization. Though almost all my bodily malfunctions are common and can be easily diagnosed and treated, it’s surprisingly hard to actually get the basic treatment I require.

The doctors are swell, it’s the health system that is problematic as it forces you to come in contact with many different people and rely on their good spirits before receiving treatment. For people who do not like mingling with other people too much, this is a vexing requirement. When I get sick or injured, it’s always the same cold/sprain/fracture and I always need the same treatment, but I have to go through horribly tiring bureaucracy in order to get it:

 Simple Fracture (9 steps)

  1. Take number, stand in line, talk to family doctor receptionist
  2. Family doctor suspects it’s a fracture and sends you to be X-rayed
  3. Take number, stand in line, talk to X-ray receptionist
  4. X-ray technician
  5. Doctor looking at the X-ray and nodding solemnly
  6. Doctor/nurse putting on the cast, possibly prescribing something for pain-relief
  7. Take number, stand in line , pharmacy
  8. Receptionist at place getting crutches
  9. Crutch guy adjusting the crutches

 If you are adept at diagnosing fractures or if you are inept and have fractured many bones before, you can usually skip the first two steps.

 So why must I spend a whole day dealing with a fracture and why do I need to talk and fraternize with at least 9 different people when I’m at my most unsocial state? Isn't there a better way?


Well, yes there is!


I got the idea while I was dating a veterinarian several years back (It’s safe to say that almost everything I know about the world was garnered in one of three ways: TV (ages 6-14), Wikipedia, and women I dated).

Talking about the illnesses and injuries she deals with, I realized that veterinarian skills are surprisingly broad since they have to deal with just about everything that can go wrong with animals. Not only that, the vet prognosticates, treats, prescribes and administers the medicine all by himself (steps 1-9 in the fracture case minus the crutches..)
It works something like this:

A guy with a whimpering dog comes in, she (the vet) kindly listens to the story about the car, the driveway the reverse and the mutt that was resting there. She assures him it was not his fault and that there is no need to blame himself (also part psychologist). She quickly realizes this is a fracture, X-ray’s, puts the bones back in order (if necessary) and puts on a perfectly neat and impeccable little cast on the poor creature. Just like that.

Medication? Not a problem! Here, give this to him (hide it inside his biscuit) and he’ll be fine.

It just happened that I had torn my calf muscle several months earlier climbing. I did the whole ultrasound gig and was told this will heal on its own (as it did, eventually). I was on crutches for a painful 3 weeks, was limping for another 2 months and did not go back to my normal routine for another two months. As I unraveled my touching story, the vet said that dogs too have muscle tears from time to time. Just two weeks before, a scruffy looking mongrel had been brought to her with a torn leg muscle. She operated on him, stitched him back to health and he was on his feet and running two days later! Can you believe that?

“It’s a shame we were not dating then”, she said, “I would have been glad to stitch you up, you would have been good as new within a week of two”. She said the operation is simple and human doctors avoid it for obvious reasons, knowing it will heal (slowly) on its own.

What a shame.

And then I realized: what I really needed is a vet.

 Human doctors are wasted on me. I am a simple creature with simple needs.

I’d rather the system be more lenient (with me), face the risk that that one-in-a-million rare tropical disease will go untreated, in return for fast treatment of the non-esoteric cases.

But it’s not just the speed, it’s the consistency. Whatever the problem, with a vet, you always see the same person, he gets to know you and specializes in treating you.

I don’t need a cardio specialist, a brain specialist and a kidney specialist at my disposal. What I need is an Oren specialist!

“Oh you again! Let me guess, you've fractured your finger, right..?” is what he will say after he has seen me fracture the other 9.

The village doctor used to play this role, oh, pets have it so good…

 Finally, a word of advice about dating a vet:

She used to complain that almost all she ever did was castrations. She was literally castrating from morning to evening, anything with a working sexual reproductive system, which came under her care, was sterile the next moment. This made me slightly wary of her, and I never came near when she had sharp objects in her hand (or even in her vicinity).

Snip Snap… those neutering habits die hard…

להשאיר תגובה

הזינו את פרטיכם בטופס, או לחצו על אחד מהאייקונים כדי להשתמש בחשבון קיים:

הלוגו של

אתה מגיב באמצעות חשבון שלך. לצאת מהמערכת /  לשנות )

תמונת Twitter

אתה מגיב באמצעות חשבון Twitter שלך. לצאת מהמערכת /  לשנות )

תמונת Facebook

אתה מגיב באמצעות חשבון Facebook שלך. לצאת מהמערכת /  לשנות )

מתחבר ל-%s