Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Dr. Ika?

Slow Emergency

Got a frantic call from SK on Friday night telling me that Apollo's mum cut her finger on her car door. Huh? Car door? What's sharp about that? According to her, the cut was quite bad and the bleeding didn't stop. She wanted to know whether the Klinik Alam Medic near my place is a 24 hour clinic. Half an hour later, she called me again. The doctor referred her to Hospital Serdang! Funny thing was, the locum doctor was writing her a referral letter.

Kalau dah nak pergi Jabatan Kecemasan pun nak referral letter ke?

SK had just touched down from Vietnam that evening and was quite exhausted. So she requested me to drive them to the hospital. During the drive there, I questioned her regarding the injury and the visit to the clinic. Turns out that Apollo's mum slammed her the car door on her finger. And the impact made her skin split and finger turn swollen. Now that made more sense. And the locum doctor gave many excuses not to give her stitches, saying that he was unsure about the extent of the injury, it was too close to the nail bed, she seemed diabetic (wouldn't anyone's finger get bruised in such a situation?!) and that he had no sterile environment (this takes the cake). In the end, he just gave her a tetanus sent jab and sent them away.

Thankfully, Hospital Serdang was just a short drive away and there was no traffic jam. Dropped them at the Accident & Emergency while I went off to find parking. Found them at the Non-Critical department. Apollo's mum was being looked at by the nurses where they cleaned the injury and bandaged her thumb. They said it was minor and just needed a few stitches. There was a second screening by a more senior nurse. She read the letter and wondered aloud, "Apa injection dia bagi la?". The lousy doctor didn't specify. Such a joke. Then SK told the nurse the locum doctor said that the nail might need to be removed and she laughed. I really wonder if the locum doctor was a Dr. Ika (a fake cross-dressing doctor who was arrested in Batu Berendam after a patient's wife complained of his 'extreme concern' for her husband).

We were then sent to the waiting area where your 'queue number' is just a 'calling number'. What this means is that, it does not follow a sequence. In front of us were six doors. Three red and three yellow. The number that we looked out for was 1114. We had seventeen patients in front of us. The number had three prefixes. 1 - elderly and children below two; 2 - God knows what; 3 - minor issue where I don't even know why you want to go to the A&E for. Basically many of the people there seemed fine to me. Only a few seemed to need immediate attention. One Malay dude was obviously feverish, with his bloodless face, dry lips and shivering. Another kid was in a wheelchair with a swollen foot. One more kid had a big wound on his face, but at least it had stopped bleeding. Wanted to get some drinks, but the vending machines were all out of mineral water and would not accept notes. Had to settle for canned drinks. The numbers moved very slowly. And whenever a number was missed, it would just stop there for fifteen to twenty minutes. SK would get agitated and have a peek. The room was empty. By 4:00 am, there were still seven numbers to go.

Judging by the speed, it would be at least 7:00 am or 8:00 am before it was our turn. We made a final check on Apollo's mum before deciding to leave. The MYR50 that we paid was just for the dressing. At 8:30 am, SK and my mum drove Apollo's mum to a clinic in Bukit Serdang. That doctor helped stitch up SK's foot and my mum's finger last time. Surprise, surprise, he wasn't there as he went for a course. By some divine providence, the replacement turned out to be a plastic surgeon from Ipoh. So, think twice before using the A&E at government hospitals. But how much choice do we have?

4 comments:

Twilight Man said...

It was a merry go round. That doc was a Chicken Little.

Happy walker said...

macam good, hehe~

Tempus said...

Been there. A & E in Hospital Serdang? Tak boleh pakai, too crowded and just too busy for emergencies.

I guess going to 24 hours clinic or private hospitals are much better choices despite of the price. If you still can drive, a private hospital in a decent distance will still do the job.

By the time I graduate, I'd probably perform the procedures on myself if I could!

William said...

@Twi:
Well-said.

@HappyW:
What's good?

@Tempus:
Should have gone to TDMC