What Changes? / Claudia Cadelo

With great effort I’ve managed to read the eleven pages of “The Transformations Required in the Public Health System.” I have the impression that if we took out all the ideological apologies — such as, “the direction of our glorious Party,” or this one, “the immense historic responsibility we have for the future of the fatherland” — the text would only be three pages. Sadly, the ability to synthesize has never been a virtue of those who govern us.

To make matters worse, in the meat of it there’s not much there, other than a shifting and rearranging of equipment and personnel from here to there, the well-known and prioritized “internationalist” work, and a strange insinuation that there is a surplus of doctors — I say it’s strange because it’s true but I didn’t expect them to say it. There is not a word that speaks specifically to a wage increase for workers in the Ministry of Health, much less any guarantees to citizens about the quality of the services. There is even a delirious expression (semantically and grammatically) about medical ethics: “The Medical Ethics Commission should not act as a court, but should think of itself as an ideological commission.” Can anyone imagine the practical significance of such a statement?

More of the same and yet they call it transformations. Sometimes I wonder if really — even with the political will — the government will manage to fix the debacle that has been steadily building in public health.

December 8, 2010