Dec 2, 2010

A request for medical horror stories

The past few months have seen some truly epic failures on the part of the Peace Corps medical staff here in South Africa, ranging from unprofessional to petty to sheer bloody-minded stupidity. The kind of failures that—and this is no exaggeration—could be easily avoided by an intelligent twelve-year-old.  I have been thankfully free of such experiences, mainly because I haven't gotten seriously ill since arriving here.  But I think the scale of the problem is such that the normal avenues for correction are not working.

Thus I've come up with the idea of doing a series on medical horror stories.  So long as you are comfortable with sharing, anything you regard as a failure of the Peace Corps South Africa medical staff, no matter how short, long, or silly, send them to me!  (My email is on the right sidebar.)  I'll collate them into reasonable chunks to be published here anonymously.

Note: basically all the problems I'm aware of have to do with the medical staff (comprising two nurses) tasked with managing volunteers' heath here in South Africa.  Since this is the medical hub for most of Africa, there is a real doctor who deals with serious medical problems for medical evacuees, who is by all accounts a competent professional.  This series should not be read as casting aspersions on that doctor.


  1. Brilliant! This is going to be like the Wikileaks of Peace Corps South Africa. Prepare for some DDoS attacks and sex crime allegations.

  2. Maybe Bill Kristol will declare me a terrorist and demand Obama have me assassinated.

  3. Well at least a nice long stay at Gitmo.

    On a more serious note, it seems the poor job by the medical office (just PC SA) is really coming to a head. I applaud your effort to try and change the situation because the numerous complaints don't seem to be doing the trick. Hopefully the right people see this and react in a way that doesn't just punish you. People have been kicked out for blog posts before but any negative result for you because of this would be misdirected.

  4. So far as I'm aware, two people have been kicked out for blogging. One was back when blogging was first starting, before it was generally accepted, and another was someone who was severely critical of local political organizations and made "favorable comments about groups classified by Executive Order as terrorist organizations."