17 Oct “… for the rest of your life or cured.”
A Buddhist Model for Health Care Reform
By Mettanando Bhikkhu BSc, MD, BA, MA (Oxford), ThM, PhD
This was another article given to me from my physician consultant while working on a project around remote asthma care management. Again, what a refreshing read about education, health and spirituality. This triad represents quality of life in accordance to the Buddhists and has been the base for reshaping heath care in Thailand.
The responsibility of a community’s spiritual and physical welling is reflected in this story from the Book of Monastic Discipline of the Theravada. The background to this excerpt is Lord Buddha’s response to caring for a sick monk who has “not been good to any of his brethren.”
“Monks, you have no mother or father to take
care of you. If you do not take care of each other, who
will take care of you? Monks, who want to care for me,
should care for the ill(10). If you are ill and you have a
preceptor, your preceptor should take care of you for
the rest of your life or cured. If not a mentor should
take care of his students for the rest of your life or
cured. If not a fellow student should take care of his
masters for the rest of their lives or cured. If not an
inner student should take care of you for the rest of
your life or cured. If not, students of the same preceptor
should care of you for rest of your life or cured. If
not, students of the same mentor should take care of
you for rest of your life or cured. Without any preceptor,
mentor, fellow student, inner student, apprentice of
the same preceptor or mentor, the Community should
take care of you, otherwise, this will befall every member
of the Sangha for their misconduct. (Vin. I, 302) (11).
In the section about “Emerging Essential Elements For Communitarian Health Care System,” the author sites efforts in made in Thailand that activate community involvement, particularly in volunteer medical and nursing students.
This reminds me of one of my favorite talks from our Transform conference last month from Rebecca Onie and Sonia Sarkar. They presented on their work with Project Health. What a smart and simple solution in caring patients with basic resources.