Archive for September 8th, 2006


island medical schools and black market gall bladders.

September 8, 2006

My grandmother is sick enough (congestive heart failure,among other things) that the hospital here in Rabbit Hill has told us there’s not really much they can do for her.

Which probably says as much about the Rabbit Hill Hospital as it does about Grandma’s health. There are, after all, a litany of conditions for which RHH lacks the means to address. Anything more complicated than an ingrown toenail is shuttled off to a real hospital posthaste. Preferably by helicopter, homemade or otherwise. We have a saying here in Rabbit Hill that there are only two ways out of RHH…a helicopter or a coffin.

Which is not to say that the doctors at RHH will not take out a gall bladder, given the opportunity. Gall bladder removal is RHH’s foundation and cash cow, having the distinct advantages of:

1) being a relatively simple procedure (I once saw Hawkeye Pierce do it in the back of a moving jeep with Radar’s pocketknife, blasted out of his mind on bust-head hooch); and

2) being billable to medicare.

I also suspect there’s a thriving black market, and Rabbit Hill is like a huge Afghan poppy field of gall bladders. Regardless of my suspicion, it’s a fact that there is scarcely an adult of voting age in Rabbit Hill who still has their gall bladder. I personally know at least one citizen who swears that he’s had his gall bladder removed TWICE, at an interval of fifteen years, by the same venerable Dr. Poore.

I’m not going to besmirch my own reputation by launching personal attacks on Dr. Poore, there being – no doubt – many fine medical schools in Barbados, and likey not many Barbadans walking around with gall bladders, either.