It has been three weeks since my grandmother passed away. We are sad for our loss but at the same time happy that our precious grandmother has already rested from all her pain and suffering at the hospital. She was initially diagnosed to have a kidney failure and other complications. In those three weeks that she stayed at Veterans Memorial Medical Center, she was revived three times. She died at the fourth attempt for revival. I am grateful for all of my family and relatives who took care of our grandmother while she was living.
However, let me share to you some of my observation and opinion with Veterans Memorial Medical Center. I visited my grandmother at the hospital a week after she was admitted. In my three-hour stay at the hospital, I have seen just one pair of nurses who had tried to extract blood from my grandmother in different parts of her body for over 30 minutes with very little success. It’s like watching the anime I’ve seen in the past portraying nursing students struggling to extract blood from each other. The only difference is that this time, it is real life scenario and it is my grandmother who is the patient. I did not see any other nurse attending to any patient in my grandmother’s ward with approximately eight patients. Unsurprisingly, I did not get a glimpse of any doctor attending to a patient at that time. Maybe they’re just out for an extended lunch break at 3pm. I don’t know.
Anyway I really got curious about the very obvious shortage of health workers in this hospital so when I asked my mom about it who spent the whole month of November taking care of my grandmother, she said it’s just how it is at Veteran’s. I asked my aunt who is a registered nurse, whose husband is also a nurse working in US, whose eldest daughter is also a nurse working in KSA, whose youngest daughter is also a registered nurse but unemployed and confirmed to me that they applied at Veteran’s as take note, VOLUNTEER nurses, but they were still rejected for reasons they don’t know. Another friend nurse told me just last week that the only nurses they qualify are those who are affiliated with AFP. I thought to myself, “Uhmm.. The nurses I’ve seen there don’t look like military nurses, alright.”
With all these in mind it makes me sad to think that there is a great deal of neglect happening at the said hospital. I really wish that what I am afraid to think of is not true–that whoever fails to do their part in that hospital does not bother with their death rate because it lessens the number of people they have to give pension and benefits to. In Filipino terms “Inuubos na nila ang mga beterano para bawas na binibigyan nila ng pension.” It’s just a matter of time and all of these Filipino veterans will age and pass away but it’s no excuse to fail from their mandate which says:
…to provide the best quality of hospitalization, medical care and treatment to the veterans and their dependents…
I feel that it’s about time that the staff of VMMC be reviewed about this mandate that they even posted on their website most specially because it is not the first time that this happened to us. My grandfather, who is my grandmother’s husband, I mean the one I am talking about, also passed away last 2001 in the same hospital after being confined for almost three weeks. My grandmother passed away a day before my birthday. It was a very sad experience celebrating a birthday after a death of a very close relative. Even so, we are still happy to believe that both my grandparents are now happy being together again. The thought makes me livelier compared to seeing both of them suffer at the hospital.
I can not foretell up to what extent would this post of mine reach but if there’s somebody concerned out there reading this I really pray that an improvement be made for the benefit and extension of the lives of our veterans. Peace y’all!
P.S. As I was searching for an image, I came across this blog post dated March 5, 2008. I wonder what happened because after almost three years, the hospital is still there.