Monday, April 12, 2010

Health Care - And You Thought You Had it Bad!

Two years ago, when Trammell received his mission call to go to Cambodia,
I barely knew where Cambodia was.
Somewhere is Asia-ish right?

Okay, so I could find it on a map.
It's right between Thailand (on the northwest) and Vietnam (to the south and east) in Southeast Asia to be exact.
Since then, we have enjoyed seeing Cambodia through Trammell's eyes.
He loves the country, the culture and the people.
He has never mentioned anything negative or talked about how poor or underdeveloped the country is.

As we prepare for our journey to Cambodia (not until the height of monsoon season - July),
we have been reading up and getting to know the country a little bit better.

Cambodia has not had an easy history.
It has been shaped by a violent past.
There are still land mines reminding them of this violence.
There are still modern day border clashes and turf battles.

As I read the guidebooks,
I am torn.
Some of the descriptions are both hilarious and horrifying.
I'm find myself trying to decide if I should laugh or cry.
I'm not sure which.

While waiting for Parker's cast the other day,
he and I read about health care in Cambodia.

Here's what we read.
Laugh or cry - you decide.

Health and Emergencies"

Phnom Penh - the capital
"If you become serious ill or sustain injuries in a traffic accident,
then have yourself evacuated as quickly as possible to Bangkok or Singapore.
For less serious emergencies, visit International SOS.
This clinic has a dentist and can assist with evacuations."
"The main local hospital is Calmtte, though it's not at all recommended.
Also, avoid all othe hospitals in the capital."

Battambang - the second largest city
"The Battambang Provincial Hospital cannot be recommended for anything but the most minor accident wounds.  If you have a serious injury or disease, cross the border to Thailand as quickly as possible and seek medical attention there."
Kampong Cham
"The hospital in Kampong Cham is inadequate.  If you have an accident or fall ill, try to get to Phnom Penh as quickly as possible.  The health posts in the area will not be able to provide even the most basic treatment."

Stung Treng
"No adequate health services exist in Stung Treng at this time.  If you have an accident or fall ill, try to get to Phnom Penh as quickly as possible.  The helath posts in the aread will not be able to provide even the most basic treatment.  A few years ago, alone motorcyclist crashed his bike, broke his leg, and passed out.  Local people took him to a nearby health post and when the poor traveler reagained consciousness, his leg had been amputated.That said, the Strung Treng Hospital sometimeshas doctors from UNICEF present who might be able to help."

Oh and then this little warning -
"Be aware that the ambulances may or may not come and the public emergency telephone numbers sometimes go unanswered."

Bottom line -
Don't get sick and don't get hurt while in Cambodia - anywhere!

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