If legislators have their way, between us we are going to pay R2b more for our medicines in 2011. The solution? Just don't get sick, says Susan Erasmus.
This was the advice given by doctors in Zimbabwe two years ago when hospitals ran out of essential equipment and medication. It appears to be advice we all need to follow: getting sick is fast becoming a luxury none of us can afford.
Except that no one wakes up one morning and thinks that it looks like such a lovely day for a burst appendix, or a kidney stone, or measles. Some things in life just aren't voluntary.
Years ago, I was very amused by a sign in a pub called, very appropriately, The Smiling Skull, in Athens, Ohio. It said: No Vomiting. As if the decision to throw up on the floor was made hours in advance, with malicious intent. (Judging by what they served up as the house red, I was not at all surprised that their clients felt the need to hurl on their floor).
Then there are the delicious Chinese signs that politely ask tourists to slip and fall down carefully. Or request them to please not loiter or die in a specific place.
More on the issue of hard cash: I spend about R200 per month on dispensing fees at the pharmacy. Now I probably could save myself about R100 if I were to go the large chain store pharmacy route. But are they open until 9.30 in the evening when I realise I have run out of some crucial medication? No, their doors shut very firmly while I am still behind my desk at work.