Health Care Delivery in Mauritius


I have read two articles in the August issues of your much appreciated newspaper commenting on medical treatment provided by our health services.

One of your correspondents wrote a pejorative comment on the way health care was being dispensed to the public.  He described the treatment “meted out in public hospitals as basically awful”. The dictionary defines awful as “extremely bad”.  He has probably voiced out his frustration caused by one bad experience he has gone through or it was a reaction to hearsay evidence.  His comments certainly do not convey the feelings of the majority of the population who receive treatment in the public health institutions as the number of attendances has not stopped increasing. Since Independence the state has invested massively in the public health sector with a view to offering a better medical service to its citizens.  This has contributed to fight disease, reduce mortality and improve life expectancy.  Even the most expensive medicines (including ventolin inhalers) and investigations are free of charge. The Cardiac Centre is one of the best in the region.  Mother and child care departments provide adequate services to this section of the population. Latest surgical techniques have recently been introduced. This is far from being awful.

“Aveugle est celui qui ne veut pas voir.”

Mrs Babajee, a retired nurse settled in the UK used your correspondence column to thank SAMU, our national emergency ambulance service for the “fantastic job” they accomplished when she fell ill while on holidays.  She was successfully revived and is now back in London.  The service she was offered was free of charge.

Mr B Ramlallah and Sir Kher Jagatsingh, under the leadership of SSR, were the first Members of the Legislative Assembly to advocate a policy of free medical service. Mrs Babajee’s letter is an homage to them.

What saved Mrs Babajee was faith in the public medical service, otherwise her husband would never have called SAMU and the outcome could have been less fortunate.


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What we are doing to our children…

I refer to Dr Gopee’s article ‘What we are doing to our children – and ought not to!’ in your issue of 24 July 2012, and I wish to submit the following comments:

Sparing the rod does not always mean spoiling the child. My eight-year-old son cannot keep his hands off the new ‘game’ that I have bought for him. Now he boasts being in the club of Nintendo owners. However even if it cost more than Rs 5000 I was very happy to see his radiant, shining face at the sight of the game. It made me recall the time I was a child, when my parents could hardly afford a bicycle for me.

I often ask myself: ‘Am I spoiling my son?’ Some of my friends argue that it’s far too expensive to buy such a gift. But kids nowadays know exactly what they want. Their wish list just seems to get longer and longer. It makes me remember my economics teacher’s lectures on limited means and unlimited wants.

We don’t have to blame the media, advertising or so on. Peer pressure also plays a major role in fostering the child into demanding high-end, new fashioned products.

When I saw the game in the shop mall a terrific idea crossed my mind. I decided to buy it and use it as a reward for any future good behavior on the part of my son. I simply told him that I have bought it just to acknowledge how wonderful he had been at school, and that upgrading the game or new program on the Nintendo DSI would depend on his performance at school.

It’s a game of give-and-take; good marks will be followed by fabulous gifts. So my son knows that if he wants something he will have to thrive for it. (No pain-no gain.)

However parental love is priceless and no matter how expensive be a gift, it will be hollow without affection. It takes a little warm affection to turn a house into a home.

C.S. Teeluckdhary

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Hail to all chivvying optimists!

Very often we ask ourselves whether our presence amongst the seven billion people inhabiting the blue planet makes a difference or not — an intriguing thought that drives us in a dither. Nothing is easy as we take birth: from this very moment we become the continuous weaver of the fabric that makes up our lives. Whatever our social status may be and no matter how rich, we still have to struggle at every step of life. If we think about it, we will realise that we are not here without any reason.

We must no doubt have heard that life is a terrible asset to waste. Yet, we choose to fret over petty frivolities whenever life challenges us. Of course, we are neither perfectionists nor robots. We are in fact gifted robots for we all have the treasured thing that we call the heart. Our heart should be like a flower. It should always be in efflorescence despite the lashing rain of yesterday, the unpredictable gust of wind or the ignorant trespasser. Let us put the question: is there a single person who has never been in pain? And is there a particular individual on earth who has never been criticised?

Admittedly, we are aware of only a small percentage of all the apocryphal stories about us. Even so, we feel so down that we prefer not to move out of our self-made dark chrysalis just to shun criticism. In that case, what would happen if we had the power to read others’ minds? We would likely feel worse on coming to know of all the fake criticisms about us. A person makes progress by neutralising negative perceptions about him and not by escaping from them. Susceptibilities can be thwarted; it all depends on the extent to which we are willing to climb our ladder, on the way we perceive life. In this context, the great leadership guru, Robin Sharma, shares a bright insight – “You can curse the darkness or you can light a candle and show up as a leader.”

Let us be inspired once and all so that we are able to make the most of our short life. Our world will, as a result, continue to progress with the widespread presence of the imprints left by daring optimists. Our motto should hence be: ‘Even if the whole world crumbles down, do not stumble or get jumbled up. Instead be humble and ward off backstabbers while paving the road to success with a broad smile.’

Angkush Poonye
Lower 6, John Kennedy College

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