Tips Before Coming to ED

9:42 AM

Budget 2015 is just a few hours away. Last year's budget wasn't that great to begin with and I have a feeling that next year's wouldn't be great as well. Despite efforts by the media to paint a rosy picture of Malaysia having a bright economic future, the rakyat maerhan (am I spelling it correctly?) are not feeling its benefits. Well, the stock market has been excellent and gold prices were at it's best (read as cheap to collect). Unfortunately, prices of everything went up but salaries remained the same. Hey, even the MPs are having a hard time; they have to tie their neck stomach (ikat perut) much for the RM 2,500 sebulan pun cukup!

It is only natural then that the cost of healthcare will go up with the GST coming in (NOT ALL medical equipment are zero-rated) and a few more rounds of subsidy rationalizations (you still need fuel for EVERYTHING!). When private healthcare becomes too expensive, where do the rakyat marhaen go to? Government health centers of course! I am expecting more crowd in government hospitals and clinics in the months to come. I have no complaints; the facilities are for ALL MALAYSIANS. But I have a few tips for the public to UTILIZE these services properly. Utilize NOT abuse!

1. Ambulance:

i. The ambulance service is for EMERGENCY cases only. If you can walk and talk, it is better to go to the hospital yourself. Being too tired because of a fever is NOT an indication.

ii. When calling for an ambulance, please call 999 call center. DO NOT call for one through a direct line or stop one at the side of the road. That ambulance might be heading somewhere to retrieve a dying patient.

iii. Ambulances are for those that are alive. NOT for the deceased. Please do not complain to the MARVELOUS Harian Mxxxxx when the paramedics have ascertained a person is dead and call the police instead. They are doing their job to SAVE LIVES, NOT to bring back the dead.

iv. Please provide the exact location and circumstances of the event. They are not being 'busy body' and trying to waste your time. The paramedics need to prepare themselves with the right equipment. Saying 'depan tiang elektrik yang ke sepuluh' won't help too.

v. Imagine yourself fighting for your life inside the ambulance. Please give way when you see the flashing lights and blaring sirens. (read You Are The Reason Why Ambulances Are Late)

2. Before coming

i. Before stepping out of the house, think this really an emergency? Needing a medical leave the next day is NOT an emergency.

ii. Please bring along an identification document. Don't just give your name and forget your IC number, there might be hundreds of Ahmad and Ali in the records. The IC is exclusive to ONE individual only. Besides, we also need to verify you are Malaysian or not.

iii. If you don't want to pay the ONE RINGGIT fee, please bring along a guarantee letter (GL) or pension card for a waiver.

iv. If you have a chronic disease, please try and remember your medications and dosage. Please don't expect doctors to remember the ubat bulat warna putih. And ada kencing manis sikit doesn't mean anything!

v. Please bear in mind that there might be some procedures that needs to be done such as blood taking, chest x rays and insertion of devices. If you refuse to do anything, might as well don't come at all.

vi. DO NOT bring the whole kampung. Sometimes a whole bus will come with a patient but not one of them know the exact illness history.....true story.

3.  At the triage

i. Please allow the paramedics to do their job. There should be only the patient and perhaps just ONE relative at the triage. Don't barge in demanding this and that. They have to assess ALL patients.

ii. Triaging is a method of fast assessment of the severity of a patient's illness based on the vital signs and presenting complaints.
     RED:            life threatening emergency
     YELLOW:   less severe
     GREEN :     not life threatening

4. Waiting

i. Please wait patiently at the waiting area until it is your turn. Please don't knock on the door every few minutes asking whether it is your turn. It does not help. In fact, it makes everyone else have to wait longer. If you feel that your name was left out for some reason, politely knock on the door and ask. If  it has been established that you card is there PLEASE WAIT!

ii. If you see hundreds of other people waiting at the waiting area, please don't miraculously expect to be seen within 10 minutes in green zone. Use common sense.

5.  Consultation

i. Please try and be as concise as possible and tell the doctor exactly what happened. Don't la when doctor ask, everything also tak tahu. Try not to give a mak nenek story like:

"Saya kenal Dato' XYZ. Last week I went to his house bla, bla, bla. And then yesterday I pergi karaoke bla, bla, bla. Then today I fell from the bed. My leg hurt a bit la but sikit only, no problem. My problem is baru start demam 2 hours ago."

ii. Please be as honest as possible about the illness or disease. Far too often I have seen patients and relatives trying to cover up their past illness.

Me:          Your toe looks blackish and foul smelling. How long have it been like this? Do you have                     diabetes?

Mr. X:      A little bit only. Doctor stopped my medication, now I'm taking Quadruple stem cell. This                    toe swelling only just now. Today only I notice.  

Blood sugar: 30 and the toe was gangrenous. Go figure!

Kalau nak tipu, tipu lah berpada pada

iii. The decision to admit the patient does NOT depend on the ED doctor. They need to refer to the respective departments. It may take time for the other doctor for other departments to come and assess the patient. Furthermore, sometimes the ward may be too full for admit patients resulting in a backlog. When we sumbat jugak patients to the ward, we'll get a complaint for wad kurang selesa.

That's all I can think of at this time of day (12 am!). My eyes are starting to get heavy. If anyone has anything to top up please do leave a comment. Whatever it is, please treat all the healthcare staff as humans. We sacrifice our time with our families at night just to make sure the public gets taken care off. We have our ups and downs. We are humans. If we get treated like one, we will return the favor as well.


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  1. can someone give this guy a medal!

  2. please don't come to ED at 12 midnight complaining of fever and expect the doctor to give u a medical cert for tomorrow coz the day has shift to a new date. MC IS A DOCTORS' PRIVILEGE TO GIVE AND NOT YOURS .. if you can come to ED at 12 midnight for a fever with temperature 37 degrees, then you are well enough to wait until tomorrow morning to go to any clinics to seek treatment...

  3. Don't come to ED at 4am for leg pain that has been there for a month. If you've waited for 30 days, you can wait for another 4 hrs to get it sorted at OPD or KK

  4. Hahaha..all true lah..was in ED b4..

  5. This article should be published in the newspapers for the rakyat maerhan to read

  6. 1 more thing, pt dont expect miracle med as took only 1 time n all da disease, vomiting, etc will go away....

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