Sharing the Responsibility, a reply

8:02 PM

Letter from a senior
This was the letter to the editor on 12th June 2014 about a senior citizen being given a runaround at Serdang Hospital. Initially I wanted to just let the PR people at Serdang Hospital deal with it but there wasn't any response on 13th June. So I came out with my own reply in today's The Star (14th June 2014). My original title was Sharing the resposibility.

Referring to the letter by Shah D. from Puchong entitled Senior given runaround at hospital, it is most unfortunate that he had to endure this. Fortunately for him, Serdang Hospital has an integrated computerized patient database otherwise the experience is worse. I do agree that some policies and systems in the hospital are not patient friendly. However please bear in mind that the system is in place to manage thousands of patients visiting the hospital daily.

Specialist clinics in hospitals are not meant for walk in patients. Specialist hospitals like Serdang Hospital are referral centers. If a patient is stable and the medications are available at local clinics, patient’s care will be transferred to be managed at a local health clinic (Klinik Kesihatan). Even in the current state, appointments for the first visit can take up to 3 months due to the patient load. Who doesn’t want to be seen at the specialist clinic for a mere RM 5 per visit? Even with the low fee, there are some well to do government officers who create a big fuss when being charged RM5.

It wouldn’t be fair to put the blame on the hospital. Two years of defaulting treatment is a long time. You just can’t decide to come to the hospital and be seen straight away. That wouldn’t be fair to the other patients who waited three months for their appointments, stick to their appointments and follow the doctor’s advice on health management. I am sure there might be some reasons for defaulting the appointments. But what can be more important than your health? If the medical staff are prepared to help with the limited resources, why not  help yourself?

I do agree that more can be done to make hospitals patient friendly, especially towards to the senior citizens (regardless pensioner or not) and the disabled. But health care is a shared responsibility. You can't bertepuk sebelah tangan.

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