’Idál, 10 Bahá (Splendor), 179 B.E



We divided duties again—my partner went to the hospital for day 5 with her brother while I worked through the todo list at home.

Today, the medical team leader informed my brother-in-law that there was nothing medically keeping him in the hospital and he would be discharged. Of course, the medical clearance is only Part A of the overall discharge process. Part B is the post-hospital aftercare plan which includes occupational / physical therapy, follow up visits to doctors, prescriptions for medications, etc. Part C is the financial plan to cover the costs of the inpatient stay at the hospital, outpatient services following discharge from the hospital, and access to a supply of critical medications, like insulin.

Oftentimes, these three parts are handled by different branches of the medical center—some are on the payroll of the hospital and others are outside services contracted by the hospital. Bureaucracy being what it is, those branches don’t always clearly communicate among themselves and coordinate their efforts in response to the patient’s real-life circumstances. Add to that the profit motive for all actors involved and very quickly the system mushrooms in size and complexity well-beyond the patient’s capacity to deal with it effectively—especially when recovering from a major medical event.

As such, the consequences of the patient just letting it go and trusting that it will all work out with fairness and justice for all, more often than not suffers quite the opposite. Patients need advocates who know the system and can work the system on behalf of the patient’s interests rather than those of the myriad actors in the system.

Today, my partner was in the role of advocate for her brother. She performed admirably. At the end of the day, her brother remains in the hospital until the ALL the pieces come together—maybe tomorrow. But whenever a solution is reached, let it be soon. She’s exhausted and he feels helpless. And I ask: Is this the best healthcare system we can come up with?


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Building vibrant communities

A vibrant community is one in which the spiritual and material progress of all members is considered and everyone feels a sense of belonging and purpose. Australian Baha’is are committed to cultivating vibrant communities by developing capacities for service and fostering true friendships with all people, founded on mutual support and cooperation.

Service to others enhances our intellectual and spiritual growth, and at the same time, allows us to give back to our local communities and make a difference in society. These two aspects, helping others and helping ourselves, become one process. 1

  1. “Building Vibrant Communities.” Australian Baha’i Community, https://bahai.org.au/index.php/what-bahais-do/building-vibrant-communities/ [return]