REPORT #469 March 2002

by Peter Singfield of Xaibe Village, Belize

When I first came to Belize I used to drive this old Guatemalan Dr. -- from village to village -- to do his "rounds".

He was excellent at diagnosing tropical diseases -- using stethoscope, thermometer, "sounding", visual inspection of throat, eyes etc.

He was 70 yrs old at this time -- and I truly believe "Practice makes perfect".

He carried medicine for Malaria -- antibiotics -- worm medicine -- treatments for ameba -- medicine for controlling blood sugar levels -- insulin for emergencies -- etc.

We also carried "drip".

And of course -- his complete surgical "kit".

I once held the light for him while he extracted a gall-bladder -- the patient on a table in a stick house. He charged $50 BZ for that service (Rec'd $5.00 cash -- the rest in monthly payments there after) He did lots of surgical work -- and I never saw a post surgery infection! (We did follow ups weekly)

Anyway -- to the point -- he had a "miracle" drug that he kept injecting everyone with. As Richard points out -- every Doc has to give injections!

This miracle drug was a vitamin B-12 complex injection.

A great placebo --- with some real benefits -- as most people living in the tropics are low in Vitamin B-12.

But modern American medicine with all its restrictions, codes and rules - -reached Belize. And this style medicine no longer exists.

Now we have a cash cow of a social medicine "system" --

But this was how things worked -- in the past --- here in Belize -- and worked very well!

One last note of interest -- I cured his wife of deadly leukemia a few years later. This about 8 years back now -- she still comes visit -- and is in excellent health.

There is real medicine -- where the cure is the objective. Then there is modern American medicine -- where getting rich is the objective.

It is strange and unfortunate that one can't work with the other. Or -- the more we pay for medicine -- the poorer the results.


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