What kind of a doctor do you go to?
One of the options for healthcare when you have no money is what is called the Quack Doctor. What, pray tell, is a quack doctor?
In America, we have board certified doctors that are quacks, (IN MY OPINION, I HAD ONE OF THOSE FOR MY FIRST KNEE SURERY, IN MY OPINION), but none knowingly will call themselves a quack doctor. In this area of the Philippines, there are people with little or no specialized training who have a knack for helping ill and hurting, or maybe in the military have had first aid training, that call themselves quack doctors.
Many of the illnesses are treated with herbs, massage, or other remedies that we would just call “home remedies”. Through the power of suggestion, helped by the home remedies, many problems are resolved without going to the doctor in the town. This is important because a doctor visit by the people in the village, while it seems affordable to us, would take approximately 3 full day’s wages and even more if there is medication needed.
The children’s home uses the quack doctor for minor issues. When I was there last time, I took a list of locally available plants and herbs that had curative abilities. The quack doctor was very appreciative because there were a number on the list that he wasn’t aware of being helpful.
One example of a major problem was a couple years ago Pearl was carrying her little brother while they were cleaning up after a typhoon. She tripped and fell. To protect her brother, she held out her arm that was free to break the fall. She did break the fall but at the same time she broke her arm completely between the shoulder and elbow.
The local hospital required $250.00 USD (in Philippine Pesos of course) to set the arm and told them that it would require surgery to fix right. This was totally out of the realm of possibility for a family that lives on around $2 or $3 a day when work is available. They told her without the setting of the arm and surgery that she would never be able to use the arm.
They took Pearl to the quack doctor where he attempted to set her arm. I have included pictures. Babeselle used the computer to send a message to my phone telling me that there was an emergency. I was able to use online resources and email pictures and instructions on how to set the arm. Today she can use the arm and takes great pleasure in showing me that she can use the arm that the hospital said she would never be able to use. It has a slight bump and is fractionally less than perfectly straight, but she can use it without pain or problem.