We work hard day in and day out. What do we want? What I'd suggest: something we can't live without, Money. I am such a person, half hopeful, half wistful.
When people have money, there's a feeling of security. You feel like in-charge of your situation.
At times when you don't have much, there is a sense of unrest, of jitteriness that filters out and down.
The social principal of exchanging pricey things in lieu of commodities always existed. Whether it be the pre-medieval stone coins, or gold, or be it copper or even salt, the evidences of currency can be found imprinted all over the human civilizations.
What's also evident is the disparity in the abundance. Whilst the royals always had their toes dipped in wealth, the not so fortunate section of the society constitutes the majority, always had to work their way up to achieve the luxuries.
You know what's worse than being poor? Being poor with a Chronic Illness.
Being mere sick in today's times is very expensive and not affordable at all, and when it comes to a chronic illness which will indeed take a lifelong of expenses and constant treatment, you ought to have deep pockets.
During the time I was in India, father used to bear all my expenses so I never really bothered about the cost of my insulin, the needles and the test strips. He made sure I had everything I needed regarding my diabetes. My doctor's appointments and my blood tests used to cost a hefty fortune, but I never considered it an expense.
It was a few days before I was about to move to Australia. The Endocrinologist suggested father that if they want me to have a comfortable future than he does not have an option but to buy me an insulin pump.
Father inquired about the cost of the pump, the cheapest one they had got costed a whooping 4 lac Rupees. I looked at father and said I do not want it. He smiled at me and said do not worry about the expenses. I will manage the expenses and you should get this pump. I was stubborn. I asked him to leave because I did not want him to spend that kind of money on a pump that I had no idea about.
I wasn't getting the right treatment so how could I trust them for being right about this.
We came home. I assured father that once I am in Australia I will take care of myself In 2013 when I moved to Australia. I started working shifts to manage my expenses.
That's when reality hit me.
Suddenly, the insulin and my medical supplies seemed so expensive. 5 month of supply of insulin costed me about $900 because I did not have medicare. A box of test strips was $70 as I was an immigrant. At the other hand, for an Australian citizen the same supply costs $16. A box of needles used to cost me $25 while for an Australian citizen it costs nothing!
I was reckless. I felt so angry at the system but there was nothing I could do. I was breaking down to nickels and dimes, but I kept pushing. Giving up was not an option.
My doctor's appointments every 3 months was yet another expense I couldn't afford but fortunately my medical insurance company decided to pay for them along with the blood tests. On top of Insulin supplies, the kidney medications and stomach medication was another expense.
At one point, I ran out of my insulin supplies and there were still 3 days for the payday. I didn't have enough money to buy them unless I got the paycheck so I decided to go without it for 2 days. Finally on the third day, I went out and bought some. I didn't want to ask anyone for money.
While I saw other kids spending their money on buying gadgets and cars, Most of the money I used to earn part time was barely suffice to pay my medical bills or my medication or my diabetic supplies.
My doctor suggested me to get an insulin pump. It costed $10,500.
I used to be stressed about it but luckily in 2016 I got the confirmation that my insurance will pay for it so I can finally get one. It was a good news but the pump supplies came up as another expense. It takes about $900 for 3 month supply.
I was earning enough at that point to sustain the expenses so it really didn't bother me much but at that point the idea stuck me that there are people who do not have enough funds or who cannot work because of their disease. It haunts me even today, to think how do they afford such facilities.
The citizens of countries like Australia, Canada and England should be thankful for the government for they help their citizens to afford medical treatment and medications for any illness. Then there are all the other countries where a common man is on his own to fight his battle against an illness, for themselves or for a family member.
While a suffering man is most likely to be fired from a company, It's a shame to see that Pharmaceutical Corporates and Pharmacy chains are counting big bucks on life saving medicines. Formidable walls of Patents are built by the behemoths in the pharmaceuticals industry that prevents the developers of Biosimilar medicines to introduce cheaper medicines in the markets in turn glorifying their annual reports celebrated by the stock markets.
It seems that human life comes with a Maximum Retail Price. If that was the case, the graph is sinking continuously, failing to compete against the rising revenues of the corporates.
That a middle-class family has no right to save their dying children.
We boast of the evolving technology, innovative genetic standards, state of the art health care facilities but we clearly underly the fact that all of these are meant only for the rich, the ones who can afford them and the ones who can put hefty cheques in the pockets of the medical institutions to facilitate even more development.
It completely puts an alarming question mark on the real use of such technology when majority of population cannot even afford to benefit from it.
Is the value of someone's life depends on how much money they have to offer?
They said Life is priceless.
I don’t think so.
I hope you do too.