I had a fall last week. I’ll spare you the details. As the result of the fall, when I went to the clinic for the second time, I was referred to a private hospital near (which is not exactly near, with the traffic jams) my office. I was supposed to have some part of my body x-rayed and checked. Since I was already in pain for a week, I wasted no time and headed to the said-hospital.
Braving Friday evening traffic jams made worst by the rain, I finally reached the hospital. It was well after five. I headed to the porche reception counter. Handed the letter from the clinic to the good people at the counter. They told me to go to the emergency section as the office hour had ended. And off I went along the squeaky clean corridors and eventually found the emergency section. I waited for my turn at the registration counter.
The good man at the counter read my letter and politely told me that it was ‘after office hour’. He would have to check if the x-ray technician was still around. He made a few phone calls and gladly told me that the technician was still around and was willing to help. So off I went to the x-ray department. Two young men greeted me. One of the men ushered me to a small room. (To friends and love ones: nothing happened). He left me to change into the x-ray robe.
Wearing the x-ray robe, I walked into the x-ray room. The man who ushered me earlier, came. To make the story short and not dwell about the little disagreement I had with him, he told me that he could do the x-ray, but I have to pay for extra charges that covers their overtime (which I didn’t really mind). What ignite the flame in me was that I had to come to the hospital the next day to collect the report. Get this, he said there was no doctor around (because it was after office hour) to look at the x-ray. I was aghast to hear that there was NO doctor in a HOSPITAL!
Driving to KL on a Saturday-off just to get my x-ray report was not an option. Needless to say I cancelled the whole procedure and changed into my clothes. With splitting headache caused by my flaming anger, I drove through the traffic jams to the government hospital nearest to my house. By the time I got to the registration counter, it was already 9pm. Good thing the man behind the counter was pleasing to look at and funny. I only had to pay RM1 for registration (if you are not Malaysian, you’ll have to pay RM50). There were probably 20 people already waiting for treatment.
After what seemed to be endless wait, my name was called. I thought I finally got to see the doctor. But I was very much mistaken. The room was called “Bilik Saringan” (Screening Room). In it, was a medical officer (I’m not quite sure how one become a medical officer). He asked what was wrong and patiently wrote some notes in the ‘report card’. He took my blood pressure and asked me to wait at the waiting area.
And so I waited. I fidgeted on my chair as the pain ran through me. The screening procedure might be cumbersome for some, but while waiting, I realized how important it was. There were 20 people, from what I saw, those who are more critical got into the treatment room first. That included a bloodied man who came out from one of the treatment room with his head bandaged. Anyway, after meeting yet another medical officer, some more waiting, I finally got x-rayed and checked by the doctor.
You know some thing is not right when a junior doctor called her senior doctor for an opinion. Good news: no bones were broken nor fracture. Not so good news: amazingly they saw something else might be swelling. But since I feel no pain in the part that was suppose to be swelling, the doctors let me home (there were more critically ill people that they need to attend). Besides, it was already 11pm. I was tired, so I gladly went home.
I had to spend considerably more amount of time waiting at the government hospital, but eventually, I got x-rayed and checked. So in Euro2008 style: government hospital 1, private hospital 0.