Sunday, 17 May 2009

Health & Safety In The Philippines

Or rather, a distinct lack of it. The Accident Waiting To Happen actually happened one night while I was sat in the Bistro. An almighty crash of colliding metal sparked a mass exodus into the street from surrounding shops. Pieces of glass and twisted scooter were scattered across the road. One rider was being carried to a tricycle for a trip to the hospital up the road; he flopped into the back like a rag doll. The other guy was suffering from a serious gash to the head...I assumed it was his blood puddling the dusty concrete road.

People here ride scooters with no lights at night. No helmets. And sometimes after too much local rum. Walking to the shop one morning, my shoulder was brushed by a passing wagon as it hurtled up the street. If I'd stepped left to avoid a puddle or a dog...

Kids run around in the street amongst the constant traffic of scooters and tricycles. I'm surprised no-one is killed. But they get on with it, it's accepted as the norm. And, having been to the hospital for a medical before diving, I know I don't want to be an admission there. The equipment is rudimentary and anachronistic. Having an ear infection recently, I was glad the young doctor examined me instead of the older Doctor Death. He examined one of Gerd's previous DMCs, puncturing his eardrum in the process. You don't get that with BUPA, do you?

I think I'm safer swimming around inside rusty, crumbling wrecks under the sea...

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