the needed jumpstart?

I went to UP Cebu earlier because I wanted to inquire if I could get in to the Master of Public Health program. I don’t still lose my mind yet, right? No, I don’t. I have been thinking about it since I got quit-ed from my last work. I was thinking of giving myself like 6 months to think it over before really committing to it. But I met a friend, and told me that there is deadline for applying for the masters in August. That’s why I kind of rushed into it now.

The ‘company,’ I previously worked, is about providing data management for chronic diseases in Netherlands. So it kind of give me a glimpse of how their healthcare system works. I mean that’s where Mark work for the past 3 years so from time to time I kind of have a glimpse of how it is there. But it’s when I was there that I got to see deeper on how healthcare system works in other countries. (You can watch Sicko if you want to get a feel about healthcare system of other countries).

If you look at the more progressive countries (except US), their government provides a decent education system, social security system, and healthcare system free for everybody. Of course not really free because, in return, is the big taxes their citizens have to pay. But the very basic needs are well-taken care of. So since some of the ‘basic needs’ are like being secured by the government, people are more free to take risk to pursue whatever passion they have without the burden of having to think about where to get medicines for the sick family members, or financial aid to siblings that are unemployed yet, or education of his kids. People can slack a bit, and indulge on their endeavors/passion, which of course, in the long run will might probably benefit his country.

If we compare it to Philippines, as I talked about in my previous post about how we are ‘stuck in the basic needs’ level, we are not that free to indulge on our passion that does not promise any financial profits especially if you have people depending on you.

So how it relates to the masters in public health. I encountered FrontlineSMS Medic, it’s about using SMS technology to gather health data in the grassroots level.  We have @tweetitow. Instead of just using it for those kids tweeting about Justin Bieber, I was thinking that maybe it can have more valuable use in healthcare, or agriculture, or whatever more valuable than just having justin bieber follow you on twitter.

So assuming, there is room for an SMS technology in healthcare or whatever, I kind of solve the technology part. Having work mostly in the software tech industry, it kind of frustrating to see lots of great technology but they never reach to the grassroots level, or to be of use to people who might really benefit from them. But maybe in the real world, there is no need for them. So I guess that’s one of the things I will find out from my masters.

So here are the tehcnologies, but I do not have any connection to users. So I need to go down, and get connected to the grassroots community. Thus, the reason why I’m going back to school as a way to reach out to the community.

I am hoping that in a little way, we can help, by relieving some people with their healthcare needs. Of course, I’m not aiming to cure cancer. But hopefully those common sickness can be taken care of. And, so people can indulge on their creative side. =)

Of course, there is the idea that I can just skip masters and go directly to the people but I don’t have the confidence yet. I don’t know how to approach it.

I was there earlier but UP Open University does not have office on Mondays. I hope it’s not something of a negative sign. But on the other thought, I just want to remind myself not to fret on it. It is one of the things that gets me antsy, and makes me lose my patience easily lately because I feel I already run out of time. So, chill. What’s one semester to pass by. =)

So I’m hoping going back to school can give me the jumpstart I needed. So please wish me luck!

But as they say, people who are set to do it does not need pushing. They just jump!