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Author Topic: How good was your Peace Corps Medical care?  (Read 1948 times)

Offline the boss

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How good was your Peace Corps Medical care?
« on: July 27, 2014, 04:11:35 PM »
I saw an article criticizing PC Medical.  It does sound a little sketchy.  When I served I felt that I received very good care.

How about you other RPCV's and Volunteers.  How is/was your PC Medical service?


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/26/world/asia/peace-corps-death-china-medical-missteps.html?_r=0

Offline RPCVro

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Re: How good was your Peace Corps Medical care?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 05:48:44 AM »
I always try to keep in mind that the news media never really takes an unbiased approach to their storytelling. Quite frankly, I think this article attempted to tell only one side of the story and the writer failed to contact several sources. I also felt this article had an undertone of racism, seeming to imply that the treatment was sub-par because the doctor was Chinese. Or maybe that's just because the comments make a big deal of that fact and are calling for American-only doctors.

However, I agree is appears mistakes were made in this case. I don't have enough medical training to say whether or not it would have made a difference.

I was in a very similar situation to this young man. I was at IST and developed a high fever, with lots of diarrhea and vomiting after having been in the hospital for intestinal issues just 2 months prior. I had the heat blasting at 85 in the room while I was wrapped up in sweats and blankets due to feeling constantly cold. I called the PCMO right away and had my roommate alert the other staff that my condition would prevent me from attending the training sessions that day. The PCMO was not on site to help me, but through maintaining contact with him, we were able to coordinate getting me the care I needed (i.e. the training staff were directed to get medicine and equipment for me at the pharmacy, have special food prepared for me in the hotel kitchen, etc). I responded well to the treatment and luckily it didn't get more serious. I actually probably could have/should have stayed put an extra day beyond IST, but I made the decision to get on a 12 hour bus to go home (I was feeling up to it, and I really just wanted to go, and I wasn't traveling alone).

As for the previous episode when I ended up in the hospital, that was fantastic care. The PCMO chastised me for waiting even an hour to call him once I'd woken up with gut-wrenching pain (in my mind it was just crazy constipation...wrong). My site was 6 hours away from the capital, so I went to the local hospital first while I waited for the PCMO to arrive (by the way, this was on a Saturday when the PC office was closed, so I was calling the emergency duty line phone). Less than 18 hours after my pain started, I was in a western-level hospital. The country director met me with a care package (prepared by her) as we arrived after midnight.

I had two other big medical issues during my service, and both times I called/emailed the PCMO right away and they followed up with me consistently (whichever one was on duty). I actually ended up with a misdiagnosis from the other PCMO (whose care many found questionable) but it didn't negatively impact my health. Don't get me wrong, I would not have minded seeing her replaced. The downside with the All Vols Survey is that it lumps all medical care together instead of being able to independently review the different members of the medical team. I feel that needs to be reformed, and PC should have to provide proof of the steps they've taken to address concerns people have disclosed.

Additionally, HQ needs to make it less bureaucratic to authorize a medevac. In an emergency, it's pretty easy, but for non-emergencies it can take weeks or more to get approved by PCHQ.

Offline koji

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Re: How good was your Peace Corps Medical care?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 06:53:26 AM »
My medical care was super. I had very few emergencies- one dental emergency that was handled awesomely, and the rest just routine care.

Offline Steve S

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Re: How good was your Peace Corps Medical care?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 07:47:06 PM »
My care and the care of others in Jordon was very good. However, Jordan has a good medical system (supported by US-AID), skilled staff, and less EMT response time. I felt the news coverage, especially of the Country Director not being asked to give up his car and driver would not occur in Jordon. There are other positive informal aspects, such as many youth trained as nurses in the armed forces and more general concern with the volunteers' health and diet in the community that also help.
Steve

LittleJo

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Re: How good was your Peace Corps Medical care?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 06:35:43 AM »
Totally AWESOME in Ukraine. Everyone in that office was incredible.