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LSHTM - MSc Health Policy, Planning, and Finance personal statment

siopao106 1 / -  
Mar 29, 2024   #1

Passion for chosen subject (why do you wish to take this particular course of study?)
Motivation and commitment to study the programme
Future aspirations in chosen field (how does the programme fit into your career objectives?)
(Max 600 words)

Would be so grateful for any feedback for my personal statement:

"Doc, wala na po si ***. Maraming salamat sa inyong pagtulong." (Doctor, *** is gone. Thank you so much for your help!"). I received this text amidst a thirty hour shift at the Philippine General Hospital during my internship year. Her twelve year old son, whose case I was involved in during my pediatrics rotation a few months back, had passed away ten months after being diagnosed with Stage IV Osteosarcoma. His family lived in the mountains of Bulacan with no access to a tertiary hospital, let alone a working ambulance to transport their son and his increasingly necrotic right leg. Once diagnosed with cancer, they could scarcely afford to pay for his chemotherapy on his father's salary as a farmer. Instead, they resorted to herbal treatments from a tribal healer as it was more affordable. Only when his condition worsened as the cancer spread to his lungs did they return to hospital. By then, it was far too late.

In third world medicine, the shifts are long and the patients innumerous. Only when I returned home from another exhausting shift could I finally break down alone. His story is emblematic of the woeful state of the Philippine healthcare system - mismanaged, underfunded, and largely inaccessible. The system failed that child and countless others like him.

I moved to the UK searching for greener pastures. Yet having worked in the NHS for almost a year, I directly observed how poor management continued to harm patient care. It was frustrating to see how chronic underfunding of local councils meant that debilitated patients were being made to stay longer in wards as their community needs could not be met. Many elderly patients would pass away from hospital-acquired infections that were entirely preventable and once more, doctors were powerless to do anything about it. As a clinician, I was no more a victim of a flawed healthcare system than the patients suffering around me.

Having been on the front lines for nearly seven years, I came to the realization that I wanted to be able to create change on a larger scale. My Public Health degree taught me that finding solutions to health policy issues requires a broader understanding of how decisions are made with regards to financing and planning. I wanted to understand how to make healthcare systems work more efficiently. I would like to better grasp the different approaches to tackle these complex issues and a degree in Health Policy, Planning, and Finance will equip me with that knowledge.

Financing Health Care and Health Policy, Process and Power will deepen my understanding of the decision-making process with regards to funding and implementation of different health policies. More importantly, the variety of optional modules available to take from Health Economics to the Social Determinants of Health allows me to sharpen my skills in engaging policy makers towards more efficient and effective methods of achieving good health outcomes.

My goal is to work for specialized organizations focused on specific issues like cancer research or larger international organizations like the WHO, where I can be involved in crafting public health responses to various health crises around the world or helping increase access to life-saving medications in underserved areas. I am also considering working in pharmaceuticals in translational research to bridge the gap between clinical research data and the clinicians and/or patients who would benefit from them. This program gives me the flexibility to work in diverse roles - all with the same goal of impacting future health outcomes in a positive way.

Whether it be to ensure that the mother whose cancer-stricken son will have better access to life-saving chemotherapy, or to ascertain that governments are more efficient in structuring their national health systems, a better understanding of health policy, planning, finance will go a long way towards ensuring that I can be a part that change.

WC -> 641 - Will try to trim some fat if WC are really that strict
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,797 4780  
Apr 2, 2024   #2
The first thing I would advise you to do is to keep the essay written only in the English language. It is not necessary to resort to writing in your vernacular tongue since you are not writing the essay for admission to a masters degree course in the Philippines. Sure the Tagalog words helps you achieve the word count, but then, it does not help to move the essay forward in any way. Rather, it hinders the understanding of your essay since you had to write the translation of what was said in parenthesis form. Do not waste the reviewer's time. Opening with a non-English reference will more than likely irritate the reviewer. You speak English well enough. There is no reason to pay tribute to your country of origin in the personal statement.

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