The ‘street dentist’ – injustice that hurts

Healthcare is one of the most discussed topics. Because it concerns all of us. Because it is important. And because there is injustice in terms of treatment and access to qualified healthcare. No doubt, having money means having better access to care. Everywhere. More money, better healthcare. For poor people there remains just the basic treatment, often access is completely denied and the risk to get wrong or no medicine/surgeries at all is high.

Some days ago in a supermarket I heard discussing two people about their latest visit at the dentist’s: “I had to wait more than half an hour before the dentist had time… The invoice for my teeth was incredibly high and the insurance pays only the half… These dentists just want to earn money…. He proposed golden inlays….

A situation came to my mind which I had lived in Varanasi, India, a few weeks ago: A women sitting on a small box on a busy street, in front of her the “street dentist”.  Besides of him, on a tablecloth put on the ground, there are a few medicines and surgery tools. A lot of people, cars, rikschas and cows are passing by. She, the patient, has a swollen cheek. The street dentist takes a kind of scissors, she opens the mouth and he treats her. Then he puts a finger in her mouth and extracts a tooth. It is loud, I can not hear anything. And I have seen enough…

Problems with the teeth? A street treatment
Problems with the teeth? A street treatment

Well, at that moment I swore myself that I won’t say anything if during my next dentist visits I have to wait. I will even pay some money more for the invoice. And I will appreciate every dentist seat, tool, assistant and medicine we have – here, in the rich world.

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