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Quality versus Keeping up the Status Quo

"Care without Caring"

In a complex system such as healthcare, my eyes of an astute physician see the heterogeneity of what is true for our patients and what is blatantly not.

Australians are one of the most fortunate people on the planet: we enjoy an enviable place even in the list of the most advanced economies with a reasonably stable system of democratically elected government, and we are blessed by diverse and enriching culture of people, stunningly gorgeous environment and warmth of hospitality that at least 2 to 3 billion people can not readily enjoy.

If you are a young infant or child born in this great country, then this very start in life is a divine gesture of advancement for every opportunity is available and readily given for a comfortable and successful life.

Having travelled extensively, heard of tens of thousands of stories from different people of all cultures and races, and having examined the bodies of tens of thousands of patients under the Oath of Hippocrates as a physician-trainee then a physician, Australia is unique in its wordly place.

My blessing as an adopted Australian is a deeply cherished privilege that I do not undermine for any self-gain.

Yet as I rapidly approach my 50th year life and 39 years spent in Australia, my eyes can also see our society and communities change to a lesser quality of being.

Understandably, the progressive social, economic and political decay is expected in the developing republics and the established colonial powers around the world after repeated turmoils created by invasion, colonialism, internal factionalism, civil war and inequity of have's versus have not's which further drive the visible outplay of intergenerational and cultural dissociation of an entire generation of people.

Through a life dedicated to the care of illness and disease, a physician is rarely privileged to observe the sheer brutality of what could only be described as non-human in how we care for our own.

It is difficult to fathom the suffering of those everyday women and children who are still continually victimised, abused and misused by people driven by a non-human consciousness that can only be described as 'non-human'.

It is difficult to fathom the frustration and restlessness of those everyday people who knows there is something not right about their bodies yet either unable to find the right person(s) to assist them towards recovery or led through the wrong 'path of return'.

It is difficult to fathom the senselessness of working in separation from the whole collaborative perspective when our healthcare is fragmented so much into sectors, regions and private/public that it is already predestined to create a social gradiation of health inequity that UK's Black Report had warned the world about in the 1980's.

It is difficult to fathom the common perception of the public and the healthcare system that focuses on the volume of care far above the quality of care and the long-lasting imprint left behind in the daily livingness of a person that continues to engender a lifelong trend of health and vitality even in the presence of chronic disease(s).

It is difficult to fathom that there are uncommon individuals who would actively collude, lie, manipulate and engage in illicit conduct to derive maximal self-gain out of the medical and legal system while they baltantly ignore the fact that their conduct directly compromises the administration of fairness, justice and truth for the whole society.

As a physician, I see a far greater responsibility offered to the public, the every Australians to assume the position of paramountcy to maintain the beauty and the greatness of this country we live in. No longer is it justicable or practical to leave to the 'public interest' clause of the public authorities.... after all, their definition, reasoning and implementation have to derive from the voice of the people and not by the out-spoken few.

When a young woman or an elderly patient repeatedly share how they were not heard, or dismissed for their symptoms, it is a public's call for a deepened level of care: "Please, my body needs Quality of care, and not Volume or Item-number driven focus on a diagnostic label or whatever".

One can see why this physician has previously been labelled "unsatisfactory", called to the Principal's office, done his dues for after-school detention and more committed than ever before for the central unwavering principles of Medicine, Law and Healing in society.

Because of the paramount emphasis on Care, Quality, Love and Compassion.

And these values have not changed, and will never do so.... because the physician is equally a humble patient and a practitioner of Medicine in this stunningly beautiful country called Australia.

Sam Kim

Brisbane, Australia

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