28 November 2004

--- Tribute To Dr. Jesus Canto

These days, can you still find a doctor who makes housecalls? If you feel sick, chances are you make your appointment in your doctor's clinic the following day, and in worst cases, you find yourself in the emergency room of a nearby hospital.

Who makes housecalls these days? Physicians who make housecalls are a dying breed. If you want to be seen immediately, your doctor will probably advise you to get admitted in a hospital where he can see you the following day or immediately, depending on the gravity of your condition. Nothing wrong with that. The hospital is one of the best places I would like to see a patient. Diagnostic tests can be done immediately and nurses are always around to monitor the patient's condition. But let's face it, the physician who makes housecalls adds a certain degree of warmth to the profession.

When I was young, I was a sickly child. I couldn't always go to my pediatrician's clinic so it was my pediatrician who always paid me a visit. As a child, I dreaded her presence. I particularly disliked the part where she would forcefully open my mouth and insert a popsicle stick-like device (tongue depressor) to peek into my sore throat. It was always a riotous moment, full of tears and incessant struggles.

As an adult and as a physician myself, I now appreciate what she did. It was literally going the extra mile. Although she lived a several blocks away from my house, her housecalls on me were always done during the unholy hours. She never failed to come. I still salute her up to this day.

I also do housecalls myself, along with a few friend doctors. But we are more of the exception than the rule. Of course, if you happen to be Gloria Arroyo or your surname happens to be Ayala or one of those Chinese taipans, I'm sure you will get housecalls too. But what I'm talking about here is the general public. Don't they deserve housecalls too?

Arriving home late one night, I caught a late night feature about Dr Jesus Canto, a doctor from the North who makes housecalls. I checked the Net and found this:

DAGUPAN CITY -- "If you are ill and you belong to the poorest family, wherever you are in Pangasinan, just text your doctor and we will examine and assist you for free."

Dr. Jesus Canto, director of the Region I Medical Center said the endeavor is dubbed "Reaching Out for the Poor".

"Instead of you coming to the hospital, we will be the ones who will be going to your place because that you cannot come to us," he said.

Since indigents do not have a cell phone, he urged concerned citizens with mobile phones to contact him or the medical center. Canto's cell phone number is 0927-8778328.

[Sun Star Pangasinan]

Essentially, I think that should be the case.

Sick people are in pain most of the time. With the exception of emergency cases which should be brought to the hospital immediately, I think it's a good idea for doctors to visit their patients in their houses.

I sincerely believe that half the pain can be alleviated if patients begin to see how much their doctors care for them.

I think more doctors should make housecalls.

Mabuhay ka, Dr. Jesus Canto! [Hurray and long live, Dr. Jesus Canto!]

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