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21 - Non-arrival

Journey 20

On the Tuesday - although I am not peaceful at all within myself - I get no disturbing messages or emails from the Philippines.
They think I'm in the air somewhere between Heathrow and Manila.
I am expected to land in Manila airport - precisely 4 months, almost to the hour since I first met Mayen online in April.

Wednesday morning, at exactly the time my plane was due to land, I get a barrage of SMS on my phone from Mayen - unwittingly I hear one word of a voice message that she leaves - one word was enough - I delete the message.
The sound of her voice renders me incapable of rational thought - and perhaps I need a great deal of that from now on.

Possibly they don't know whether I was on the flight or not - I decide to keep them guessing - maybe they'll think that I'm lurking in Manila somewhere - checking things out - secretly - in which case Mayen may well be tucked up and tightly bandaged, in a bed provided by the hospital.
Up until now, they have been quite content to be the go-betweens for me and Mayen, never once suggesting that I contact the hospital directly, only Mayen - on her cellphone.
I expect that the original phone calls might well have come from them in the hospital on the Friday - they would have been sure that I would want to phone the hospital on that day for verification. The hospital staff obviously have been told exactly what to say to me should I phone again.

Today, however, they are expecting me to show up - I suspect that Mayen might actually be there again. She told me that her seaman brother was there with her on Monday - just arrived from the province - Sir Francis told me on the Monday that he was with Mayen and her seaman brother the previous night. Later on - in an email - he tells me that Mayen's seaman brother has been with her in the hospital since Wednesday. Now they start encouraging me to phone the hospital.

I receive two emails from Sir Francis, sent early morning PH time, Thursday 16th August - the tone of both are insulting and vaguely threatening. The first one was CC'd to Mayen.

Hi Tim,

Everybody was expecting you to arrive yesterday. As of now, I understand that Mayen is still stuck in the hospital & you have not showed up. Where do we go from here? I hope there is a good explanation for your delay. I'm told that your celphone does not answer either. I'm still hoping that there will be a happy ending to this episode.
Mayen now thinking that you might never come. Please advise what we are to do
If there is no logical explanation for your delay and unfounded suspicions, then
I think you are an animal of the worst kind.

Thursday I get the following offline message from Marivien on Yahoo Messenger.

vhienne (8/16/2007 11:07:38 AM): tim good day?
vhienne: mayen still at the hospital right now?
vhienne: please directly comunicate with here or to the hospital .She's waiting for you?
She needs you right plese call here.
vhienne: She always cried because she expect you come to see here.
vhienne: Please call here
vhienne: Thanks so much.
So I reply - still pretending that I might be in Manila - and also implying that I might not be alone. Still between a rock and a really hard place - I don't want to lose Mayen - if this all turns out tragically to be true.
Tim: The money is no problem - I need a genuine invoice from the hospital.
Tim: *Invoice No.
Tim: *Patient ID
Tim: *Doctor's name & licence No.
Tim: *Anesthetiologist's name & licence No.
Tim: My email to the hospital has not been answered.
Tim: I have the cash - up to P100,000 - I can't get any more - I have no credit card.
Tim: When all these conditions are met we will surface.
Tim: The invoice should be a numbered invoice on hospital headed paper - in other words legitimate.
Tim: It must be sent to me by the hospital - directly.
Tim: You have had my email address since Sunday.
Tim: Please send all my love to Mayen - and say "Better safe than sorry - mWaaaaaaaaaah"
Tim: The invoice will itemise all medications, drugs, treatments etc
Marivien replies - more excuses for why nothing can be done about the hospital getting directly in touch with me.
vhienne: okey il tell all of that to mayen
vhienne: i ask here before to tell the hospital to send all the invoice of the bills she had a copy of this
vhienne: i will print all of your offline messages & emails then give to mayen
vhienne: il give it to maye tomorrow because theres a typhoo here i cant go there coz of flood
vhienne: commuicate directly to mayen she in the hospital she waiting for you.
vhienne: I email to your here messages.
vhienne: She txt me right now that the admin of the hospital half day today because of super typhoon.so please call mayen she is i the hospital.please she waiting for your call.
vhienne: thanks
vhienne: Mayen is waiting for your call please call here i cant visit here now to the hospital coz of super typhoon
vhienne: okey hope you call here .thanks
vhienne: if you love my friend seriously call here directly or call & communicate directly to the hospital...
vhienne: thanks

We checked the local weather in Manila - nothing was mentioned about a Super Typhoon - it looked perfectly normal.
I leave an offline message for Marivien - not using my email - they can trace my whereabouts from the IP address.

Tim: Marivien - hi - please answer the following questions.
Tim: Where is Sir Francis Jalbuena?
Tim: Could you ask him to provide me with:
Tim: Mayen's patient ID.
Tim: The Surgeon's name & licence number.
Tim: The anesthetiologist's name.
Tim: The anesthetiologist's licence number.
Tim: The surgeon's email address.
Tim: The anesthetiologist's email address.
Tim: Also please ask him - why is Mayen still in the hospital?
Tim: We need to know why the hospital have not yet communicated directly with me.

Late Thursday night I have a chat session with Marivien.
vhienne: Mayen dont have money to pay for the hospital bills thats why she cant go out of the hospital.

[Didn't Mayen say that Sir Francis wanted to know if I was coming - something about settling up his account? He must have forgotten - poor Mayen - stuck in hospital - and Sir Francis - who "loves her" - is now refusing to help.]

Tim: They are keeping her in?
vhienne: il tell all you need to mayen yesterday to email directly to you.you communicate directly to mayen @ to the hospital .
You call to the hospital so that the answer to your questions will be answerd im at the office right now
vhienne: yap she is still in the hospital right now please call here
vhienne: or call directly to the hospital.i visit mayen early morning because she has a letter to you.i send to your email right now
Tim: I have written to Sir Francis emails to 2 addresses. I would like him to comply with my simple requests.
Tim: I have no animosity towards you at all.
Tim: mWaaaaaaaaaah
Tim: tell Mayen - I can't stop thinking about her.
vhienne: okey.Communicate direct to mayen & to the hospital .Please call here now.She waiting for your call.
Tim: The hospital must communicate with me - directly - via email - with all the details that I have requested.
vhienne: To erase the doubt in your heart direct communicate to mayen & to the hospital now.Thanks
Tim: I repeat - the hospital must directly communicate with me vis email - with all the details that I have requested.
vhienne: yap.i ask that already to mayen before.I have work thats why i cant talkd to her doctor i visit her after office and the the doctor is already out
vhienne: okey
Tim: I'm sorry Marivien - we need those explicit details - from the hospital directly - via email.
Tim: And I have written to Sir Francis asking him to deal with it - so I am expecting an answer from him very soon.
vhienne: okey.mayen said that mybe the hospital email by tuesday cos saturday & sunday dont have admin office then monday its a holiday her in philippines
vhienne: okey.thanks for the time
Tim: thank you Marivien - bye for now - please pass on my love to Mayen - tell her to enjoy the rest.

Still no mention of the "patient confidentiality" that is to feature so heavily in all of their excuses later on.

So it looks as if the hospital are planning on extending Mayen's stay until the bill is payed, despite hints that Sir Francis might have wanted to settle up. This was normal practice in the Philippines across the board until recently - as you can see from - Republic Act 9439 - now, however, even since the passing of this Act, it still does not apply to private rooms.
It seems very odd that there should be this distinction between the public hospitals and the private ones - which are run as businesses. If the Act were genuinely in the interests of the patients - I would have expected to see it applicable to both - but that's the Philippines for you - I envisage a scene where the advocates of the Act are being lobbied - or bribed - by the private health care businesses - to include a caveat excluding private rooms - to allow them to continue cashing in - detaining patients - making them prisoners until their hospital bills are paid - such an easy source of extra income.
However - this might not have been a component of the gang's "Plan A" - when I was expected to arrive on the Wednesday - but they're busily working on "Plan B" right now. I'll try and help them exhaust the whole alphabet of plans before I'm through with this.
OK - now couple this with the fact that some Doctors & hospitals have even been defrauding their own Government - claiming subsidies, grants etc. for ghost patients - article - and it makes it, potentially, more lucrative still.

Click the flags to read about all the alarm bells.


Tim Cumperhttp://www.bebo.com/Ellumbra

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