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Losers are winners

August 1, 2011

A Swedish hospital is like a Thai hotel, clean and with perfect service. A Swedish hotel is like a Thai hospital, a bit dirty and a lot of self service.

When the Dokmai Garden herb master Nived suffered from chronic gastritis and was simply given anti acid medicine by the Thai doctors, I insisted on the addition of chlarithromycin and amoxicillin since her symptoms indicated a Helicobacter pylori infection. The Thai physician had never heard of these medicines but was happy to sell them, and suddenly years of pain disappeared. To Nived it was magic, and she hurried to tell her relatives with similar symptoms.

If you know what you are doing, Thailand is wonderful because normally you get your medicine instantly. In Sweden you suffer for days waiting for an appointment with a physician to make a one minute interview resulting in a recipe. At one occasion when I came back from Africa I was in such delayed agony that I ripped up the antibiotic package and took the medicine straight inside the Swedish pharmacy.

In Thailand you can stock antibiotics, no need to suffer too long. The problem is most people have no clue when to use antibiotics, so here they take it against allergy or viral infections, and that is why the Swedish government is reluctant to make antibiotics public like in Thailand. Over consumption of antibiotics will lead to bacteria becoming resistant, and that will cause terrible infections in the future. However, Swedish doctors stock antibiotics for private use, and regular people who know what they are doing live an equally pain-less life in Thailand. Some western men have admitted to me that they live in Thailand because Viagra is freely available here, no need to go through repeated humiliating appointments with a doctor.

This morning I tried to get hold of ‘Lergigan comp’. It turns out this medicine, and its active compound promethazinehydrochloride, is not registered in Thailand, and so unavailable. It is a standard medicine in Sweden against vomiting, recipes handed out even by nurses. In Thailand, the patient’s only choice is a stay at a hospital where you keep vomiting, while the hospital staff pumps in new water, minerals and glucose until you get well some days or weeks later.

I asked the University pharmacy if they somehow could suggest a registration of this medicine which would ease the life of millions, but the head pharmacist laughed and shook his head, explaining he had no power. That is a democracy problem when low level employees are not expected to suggest, but listen and wait for the leaders to take initiative. This culture falls back to the educational system where the teacher is a god and the students listen and obey. I have met university graduates who had never heard of a telephone directory, and so they had never solved any problems anytime during their entire education, just being fed with ‘truths’. Apparently many stop studying after graduation, as physicians are surprised to learn about new discoveries. Some even claim that changing a routine or treatment is losing face, because that means you have been wrong. Those who admit they are wrong and learn something new will develop and become winners!

By the way – can any of our reader’s worldwide help us with Lergigan comp, or promethazinehydrochloride 10 mg? A reward is waiting.

Updated August 5, 2011: Our Thai friend Tanit is a medical doctor and he gave us many recommendations and good alternatives. Yesterday when I went to the University pharmacy again there were other staff and they were also knowledgeable. We tried Dramamine, an antiemetic which was abandoned in Sweden in 1974, but to our experience it causes severe head ache. We still think there is a need for Lergigan comp.

Eric Danell

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Don & Tang. permalink
    August 9, 2011 12:12 PM

    Hi Eric, thank you very much for a lot of interesting topics in this newsletter.
    Hope you and your family are well.
    Kind regards,

    Don & Tang. ( CMPG )

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