I received this email and it is really something to share about. All of us PLHIV's have the right to seek assistance with regards to our condition and we deserve to be assisted by our treatment hubs and HIV/AIDS Organizations.
Here is the full email:
I just thought of sharing something to the rest of the pozzie community that might help them, especially those new to this kind of life. I'd like to share an experience, and how I got around it.
Disclaimer: I remain thankful to the San Lazaro H4 treatment hub. Though I may cite frustrations here, it is not about the staff of the H4 OPD. I may have just been unlucky to have talked to the people cited here. Please do not be discouraged to avail of San Lazaro H4 Pavillion's healthcare services. The crew there are adorable and kind.
I would just like to endorse the Philippine National AIDS Council (PNAC)--they are a very helpful bunch of people who really cares for people like us living with HIV. From the very first time that I discovered there organization a few days after I was diagnosed, they have been really kind to me and has helped me with a lot of things.
Yesterday, I called up San Lazaro Hospital's H4 Pavillion to ask for assistance on something urgent. The phone kept on ringing, and then there would be a click, and then silence. And then the call would get cut off. That's how their phone was from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM. I knew then (because I was a telecoms engineer) that something must be broken with their phone. I asked for help from the San Lazaro Hospital Information Desk. They simply told me, "Ay wala po talaga tayong magagawa diyan. Yan lang po talaga number nila. Wala po kaming matutulong sa inyo." Even at the middle of talking, she would interrupt me to say her piece. Where has her communication ethics gone?
I was very frustrated. The person I talked to did not even bother to think what can be done to contact the people of H4 Pavillion. She did not even think, "Hmm, what can I do about this situation?" Simply because what they usually do to connect callers to the right department is to forward them to the local number, they will not offer any other kind of service if something unusual happens. There goes your customer and healthcare service!
I tried calling the H4 Ward next and asked for help. Same thing, I was declined of any help. They simply said they can't go to H4 OPD to check because the two buildings (H4 OPD and H4 Ward) are far apart from each other. This isn't really true. I've been visiting San Lazaro Hospital since I was diagnosed and I know for a fact that the two buildings are no more than 20 steps away. In fact, from the doorstep of H4 OPD, you can see H4 Ward staff lounging and chatting at their building entrance. Again, it was a case of direct decline of service and kindness if something that is out of the norms happen.
And then I remembered PNAC. I called them up and told them about my experience. The first reaction of the staff was, "'Walang magagawa?' Bawal yun ah!" The moment she said that, I felt that she understood that I needed help and that I should not have been declined of it. She really took the effort to ask around from her colleagues, from Pinoy Plus and even from pozzie patients that she knows. She tried to exhaust her options. Her very last resort (medyo nahihiya ako sa ginawa niya actually) was to directly contact Dr. Cherry Tactacan-Abrenica (head of H4/HIV treatment in San Lazaro) through her personal mobile number to get help for me.
That moment, I felt that a stranger really cared for me. PNAC stayed true to their mission, as stated in their web site:
PNAC shall lead in developing and sustaining an enabling environment where individuals and sectors can appropriately, effectively and expeditiously respond to the many challenges of HIV/AIDS. PNAC shall foster commitment, coordination, cooperation and collaboration.
PNAC helped me and they did it with kindness. And I am pretty confident that whoever will come to them for help, PNAC would extend the same kindness that was shown to me. Do not worry if your request or your concern doesn't have a standard procedure to be addressed; PNAC will find ways."
Philippine National AIDS Council
3rd Floor, Bldg 15 San Lazaro Compound
Department of Health, Sta. Cruz, Manila
Tel: (+632) 743 8301 local 2550/2551/2553, (+632) 743.0512
Fax: (+632) 743.8301 local 2552
Spelmark (@Squid633 on Twitter)
"WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"
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Tags: HIV Manila, HIV Philippines, AIDS Manila, AIDS Philippines, HIV/AIDS Manila, HIV/AIDS Philippines