It is very disheartening to read about your sour experiences with medical practitioners that you have encountered. [http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2015/10/26/dear-doctor-are-you-qualified/ ]
I am sure we all have got our share of ill experience with a doctor during our lifetime. For most of us though the good experience we have far outnumbers the negative ones. Unfortunately, from your article it seems like you tend to always get the wrong end of things. Maybe it is just bad karma. As they say, good things always happen to good people and vice versa.
While you conveniently addressed the doctor on duty as Dr.Nobel Prize, you don’t seem any less intelligent than him with regards to your rights. Since you claimed you noticed somebody different walking into the clinic with Arabic features (as you have frequently visited the clinic for five years) and you assumed he was the locum doctor, why didn’t you walk up to the receptionist or dispensary counter and inquired beforehand? Had you have done that, then the prerogative would have been on you to see the doctor or not. After all, your son only had high fever, bad cough and pounding headache. If you did not wish to see that doctor you could have gone elsewhere since it is not an emergency.
From your article, it also tells me that you are like every other intelligent patient who thinks a doctor is a magician. He missed his first day of final exams and only then you thought it was important for you to seek medical treatment with the hope of being properly treated so he does not miss more papers. You waited for your son to fall sick till the extent he misses his exams and then go to a doctor expecting a magic portion for him to immediately be okay? I am sorry but I call that bad parenting. I find it amusing that the school your son goes to has the first day of an exam on a Friday assuming the very next day (Saturday) you visited the clinic. Why didn’t you take your son to see a doctor on a Friday instead, a normal working day when it would be so much easier to at least get a blood test done? Clinics are packed on weekends because there are a lot of people like you who only go to see a medic on the weekend citing all kinds of excuse about being busy on week days.
By the way, you questioned the Ministry of Health with regards to what are they doing to monitor private clinics. Have you even tried finding out what is happening? Since you are so ignorant even with your son’s illness, I can only imagine you do not know what is happening around you. State health authorities are constantly on the ground monitoring private clinics from documentation to medical records and even cleanliness. Numerous clinics have received notices and some even got fines. All you need to do is pick up a phone and speak to a friend who is in the medical field and you get all updates. That is exactly what I did after reading your letter. The current health minister Datuk Seri Dr. Subramaniam is apparently hot on the heels of monitoring private and bogus medical practices.
With regards to your unfortunate incident, what did you do about it? Did you speak to the clinic owner or doctor and voiced your concern? Did you notify the nurse about your unhappiness? Or are you just another keyboard warrior who couldn’t wait to run back and banter on social media without doing anything productive? By informing the clinic owner or doctor in charge, you could have possibly prevented such acts from happening again. What is the use complaining on social media? Hoping somebody gives you a pacifier? If you were really unhappy you could have even lodged a complaint with the state health office for investigation of that particular clinic. You did not mention any of these in your letter. Instead you concentrated on highlighting the negative aspect of things.
You claim too many incidents have happened to you that you are cynical about our healthcare. It is funny really because Malaysia has one of the highest rate of medical tourism where people from overseas come to Malaysia for treatment. So, isolated cases cannot sum up the entire system. There are way more positive outcomes in the medical world compared to a handful of unfortunate incidents like yours. In short, do not make a general conclusion about the country’s healthcare just because you chose to go to the wrong place. Anyway, in 5 years in that clinic this time you got a less than satisfactory treatment? Maybe the usual doctor had an emergency that he got a locum doctor to sit in for the day? Maybe the doctor did not want to close his clinic because he knows a lot of people wait till the 11th hour before seeking treatment on a weekend that he kept the clinic running? He probably thought in the best interest for patients but how would he know if the replacement doctor is not good enough for you unless you tell him.
I have an advice for you. The next time you and your family members see a doctor kindly stick a piece of paper on your forehead saying “DO NOT HAVE UNRELATED CONVERSATIONS WITH ME. I AM NOT A FRIENDLY PERSON. JUST EXAMINE AND TREAT ONLY.” You clearly mentioned that the supposed locum doctor walked into the clinic smiling and greeting everyone. It simply means he is a friendly person. Perhaps he was just trying to stir up a conversation to make you feel comfortable. I agree he made obvious remarks but if he went about naming causative organisms and pathological processes of what possibly is going on with your son, you would not have understood a word.
I know I have been very harsh in my response to your letter of concern. It is only because I don’t agree with the way you penned your dissatisfaction. Never once in your article you praised any doctor for services rendered in the past. I have many friends who are doctors and they always say Malaysians are unappreciative. They can even save a life but receive no appraisals but when something small that is unsatisfactory people complain on social media. You showed no regards for the doctor who himself is unwell but is working on a weekend treating patients. Do not get me wrong. How he conducted the examination of your son may indeed not be right but neither are your actions by ranting on social media. The medical profession along with a few others does not get off days like most of us. The nobility of the kind of job they do is incomparable with the peanuts they earn. Yet they put up a smile and face the wrath of difficult patients like the author.
There are ways about voicing dissatisfaction and how the author did so deserves no credit. There is definitely a reason why the author repetitively receives poor treatment all the time. Nature has its own course of giving back and lets face it, there is no occupation in the world that can guarantee great workers hundred percent of the time. There will always be bad apples in any basket. Through our deeds in life we all wish not to come across the bad ones.
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