My name is Joe Boylan. I am a retired teacher of Science including Biology and Mathematics and I have been settled here in Romania for the last fifteen years with my young family; three small children and of course, my life partner and wife, Tunde.
I first came to Romania to help the aid movement which began in 1990. I came with a team of young people, who, like me were free to travel and bring goods to this country after its emergence from the collapse of Communism. Our chief focus was on health matters and I was appalled by the terrible conditions which we met here and in particular at how little the government of the time seemed to be doing.
What is most disappointing is that the Romanian Health Service has improved very little in the last twenty years since I first came here. It is suffering from loss of skilled people to run it due to emigration, from lack of ‘investment’ by the government and also the use of poor and old fashioned ways and attitudes in dealing with matters of health across the board in all departments of public health. There is some encouraging progress but it is patchy and minimal. I have never questioned the integrity, the ability or the dedication of the many doctors and dentists I have had the privilege to meet and work with in this country. They have always impressed me with their knowledge and their quiet acceptance of their own predicament of working under the most difficult conditions. I sympathise entirely with their frustrations in this valuable work.
To illustrate the seriousness of the present state of affairs here, a little over one year ago my father-in-law was taken very ill with a leg thrombosis. He was immediately taken to hospital locally in Miercurea Ciuc from where he was sent on to Turgu Mures as there were not sufficient resources to deal with his condition. (Turgu Mures is something of a ‘centre of excellence” so we are told.) He arrived there on Sunday night, the same day that he had collapsed with the problem. The doctor who should have been in charge was not informed of his arrival, which should have been standard procedure in normal circumstances with something as serious as thrombosis. He was taken to a ward where the nursing care was minimal. In the early hours of the next day he died in great pain –without proper nursing attention – without a doctor even to examine him – and without the opportunity to have either a priest or any member of his family with him.
Doctor Juhasz was much loved by his family not the least by me. I don’t need to tell you of the shock, the pain and the grief within the family especially amongst his eight grandchildren at his very sad loss. It should not have happened to a man of only 66 years. He is still very sadly missed.
This story epitomizes the situation within Romanian Health Care and it has spurred me on to continue my studies in Alternative Health Care which I firmly believe is the route for any country sincerely wishing to solve its health care situation but without the resources or possibly even the will to try to surmount the present problems. That Alternative Health Care has up to 90% of the answers I have no doubt. At the time of Dr Juhasz’ death I came across a little known use of herbal treatment which could probably have saved his life. I was not even looking for it, but in any case I was too late.
I am not here to openly criticize the government or any of its individual members. None of those helping me to mount this website are revolutionaries of any kind. What we do want to do is issue a wake-up call to all those involved in matters of health here in Romania to begin to address the situation conscientiously and make the resolution not to allow such appalling situations to keep on arising and to move to a unique position where this country could take the lead in Europe over health matters. Yes it is my firm belief that this could happen here at the present time if only the right will could be shown among those in direction of the health service. Neither are we here to be dogmatic about the issues we discuss. There is room for doubt about some matters and a great need for further discussion and study. If you have some specialist knowledge or even an opinion about some issue we discuss here then we would like to hear it. We intend to make it a forum for discussion. Part of our “Wake-up-Call” is to get these issues out in the open and discussed by people who are serious about making improvements to the present situation. We hope that we can attract some serious professional people who will bring these matters to bear on their daily life be it in education, health, food or agriculture (we shall keep the agenda as broad as possible) for the benefit of all who participate.
So this website is dedicated to that mission and if I was to dedicate it to any one person it would be to my long term friend and father-in-law Dr Juhasz Istvan. I am now calling upon all those engaged in Health Care in Romania to turn their backs upon the idea of doing the job for financial reward and instead turn their hearts and minds to the pure vocational aspect of the work without which health care cannot survive in any country. I do not deny that there are many good doctors and other staffers who are already doing this but their numbers appear to be few and in very serious need of enlargement. I would also beseech the government not to betray the good people who have genuinely made it their vocation to preserve health or to produce good nourishing food. Keep these people paid at the levels necessary to sustain a good and successful and efficacious health service within this country including giving them enough incentives to remain here and not to seek their career satisfaction abroad. Demoralize them by not doing this and you will be causing the greatest damage to our society here.
Every branch of health care includes: Doctors of every speciality, nursing assistants and other hospital workers, professors and students in medical schools especially those engaged in research, people engaged in the provision of all kinds of medical services including alternative health care treatments and health food suppliers. It should also include the food production industry which means everyone from the farmer and veterinary service, to the food retailer either the supermarket or the restaurant.
The provision of high sounding “pharmaceutical” drugs and other chemicals and apparatus for solving health problems is being done at overkill levels right now. The appearance of a multitude of new “pharmacies” everywhere gives the impression that the health service is being boosted and improved. But this is not the case. Independent doctors who are serious about their work tell us that 90% of the ‘medicines’ provided by “pharmacies” are completely unnecessary. BP told us in the midst of their recent disaster with the oil drill in the Gulf of Mexico, that BP is answerable to its shareholders and ‘not dedicated to saving the world’. (These were words of its Chief Executive officer in a press interview.) Pharmaceutical companies are governed by the same rules. They are not here to save the world – which means that they are not here to enhance your health. They exist to sell more medicines, which is in the interest of their shareholders. This is the ugly face of capitalism, one of the more unfortunate results of the collapse of communism. And we all need to realize this now before it is too late.
So please pick up the cudgels now and run with this movement because it affects YOU above all else. You may be apathetic at politics but please and for the sake of all those around you, don’t be the same with your own food and health.
Many thanks for visiting this website and May God bless you with your own work.
See you on the website now.
October 2010.in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania