There is a Burmese proverb: “Healthy is lucky”. For a living individual, maintaining a healthy life is essential. Every human has and wants to do many things in life according to his objective, his hobby and for his survival. Whatever you want to do, you have to be healthy at least. Nowaday, as technologies become developed, fees for medications are also relatively higher.
Those fees include consultant fee or honorarium, investigation fees, laboratory fees and medication fees. In chronic conditions and when treatment is not available locally, there will be additional fees for travelling and hospitalization. So, you can avoid these fees if you are healthy and so it can be considered as “lucky”.
Conditions concerning medication in Myanmar
As fees for healthcare becomes higher, most people with low economical class in Myanmar cannot afford those. So, they become dependent on pre-mixed drugs sold in betal quad shops, grocery shops and pharmacy shops. They also depend on the ones, who are not officially licensed and permitted to do medical treatments, such as nurses, fake doctors called Yann-Ku, compounders of clinics, and security or sanitary or operation theater staffs of hospitals for medical treatment and some minor surgical treatments such as incision and drainage of abscess. It is unbelievable but it is really occuring in Myanmar especially in rural areas and in some towns!
This result is emerging of drug-resistant strains due to careless use of antibiotics, drug intolerances, life-threatening hypersensitivities, gastric problems due to overuse of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and even death.
We had heard about popularity of insurance in developed countries. Although it can cover medication costs for a limit, it is not popular and widely used in Myanmar. Also Myanmar peoples are not very familiar with insurance services. This may be another fact of demanding medical fees in Myanmar.
Free clinics in Myanmar
To reduce depending upon the conditions described above, some respectable Buddhist monks such as Thi Ta Gu Sayardaw and Ashin Sandar Di Ka, founded free clinics over the whole country.
Thi Ta Gu Sayardaw founded many hospital offering free medical and surgical treatments for almost all the diseases relating to eyes. There are many volunteer doctors, ophthalmologists and visiting specialists around the world taking care and giving treatments to the patients. You can get free treatment options for eye diseases there.
Ashin Sandar Di Ka also founded many free clinics over the whole country. These clinics usually open two days per week and offer free treatments for many medical and surgical conditions. There are also many volunteers including doctors, physicians, surgeons, obstetric and gynaecologist, paediatricians, radiologists and other peoples from non-medical fields.
Karunaran Thi Free Funeral Service is also a popular association which has many branches in almost every town in Myanmar. It was founded and led by Academy-Award-Winning actor Kyaw Thu and many other popular peoples. They also provide free medical services, free surgical services and free ambulance services. Main branch is located in Ni Ghaw Da Street, Ward (8), Thaketa Township, Yangon.
Above are the most popular free medical services in Myanmar. There are many other clinics offering free services over the whole country. Childhood immunization can also be achieved upto rural areas and other drugs such as anti-TB drugs and anti-HIV drugs are available for free in government hospitals and some private hospitals and clinics.