David goes to sMenri Monastery (Part 5)
We toured the medical center where there is a full-time nurse to handle first-aid and other “minor” procedures. I spoke with the nurse and discussed how I was impressed with the increased level of general basic hygiene. During my first trips I saw that the children all had constant runny noses, dirty hands and faces, and dirty clothes. The nurse explained that they are now all taught hygiene, and the level of health is much higher. The nurse said she sees about 15 – 20 children per week in the medical center; more serious cases are taken to the hospital in Solan or in Chandighar.
A significant issue facing the BCH children is medical care. They don’t have health insurance. Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche told as that when (as happened last year) a child needs surgery or some other serious medical treatment, the BCH is faced with the choice of either doing nothing, or finding the funds to pay for it. I asked about getting medical insurance for all the children. The administrative staff said it would not only be expensive each year in terms of premiums, but collecting on claims is very difficult (sounds like what we face in the US). Their thought for now is that they have to save up a fund for medical treatment, and just do the best they can as each case comes along.
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