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6/15/2009

A 6 hour experience at NUH

This is one of our world class hospitals. This was the first time I had the opportunity to observe it at close quarters, for a solid 6 hours. I was at the A&E dept to admit someone. I must say the facilities were first class. And the front line staff were also first class, very helpful and pleasant to deal with. We are in Yellow state of H1N1 and they were all geared up for it, with new areas being provided for visitors as a result of this flu threat. There were ample seats at the waiting area, free distilled water, and fans to cool the temperature. The latter didn't work much in the current hot spell. Warm air blowing. Two areas which I found wanting is the PA system. The sound was not clear, maybe it was outside and the acoustic wasn't good. What is not too good is the instructions given. Everytime they called out for the visitors to be at the counter or somewhere else, they presumed that the visitors know where that place was. In many cases the visitors, probably first time there, did not have a clue where they should be going to. I was there for 6 hours and tried very hard to figure out the instructions. I felt victim to it too when my turn was called. I went from one point to the next in a blurry way. Go to that counter, over there. Without the H1N1 precautionary measures this may not have happened as everything, every counter, is inside the department. For the moment, the visitors have to stay outside the building and make do with the temporary measures. Oh, in case of patients who have been there for several hours, more feedback to their family members will be welcomed, at least to let them know how many more hours they would have to wait and in the mean time they could go for a snack or do something else. I waited patiently for 6 hours. Only the first hour was I given a short brief.

3 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

I have to say this.

Despite the few glitches and lapses, our government hospital services are still tops. As good as the likes of hospitals run privately and definitely more affordable.

All hospitals are patient centric. Medical staff are competent, polite and professional. Those who do not meet the grade would not be able to stay long in the service.

World class hospital services is one area where Hong Kong can learn from us.

However, I have less kind words to say about polyclinics. These are normally, in my mind, manned by second tier, borderline failure doctors and in the place where I stay, managed by an arrogant, self centred and incompetent showoff who treats the polyclinic as his personal fiefdom. He can count his lucky stars that I have consistently put off filing a full report of his lacklustre performance to the Health Ministry because I have more pleasurable things to do.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Compared to a so-called "first world" country public hospitals — like Australia — S'pore's public hospitals can stand proud way above. In fact, Australia can learn from S'pore.

Last year, I fell quite ill in Bkk, and sought treatment at one of their famous over-blown medical-tourist facilities (bring us your money, Mr Farang). After my visit, I got sicker — to the point where I could barely stay out of bed. In that week I lost nearly 6kg in body mass.

Managed to get a flight, (and board it) to S'pore, where my GP school buddy met me. After a quick clinical diagnosis he kindly drove me to the emergency admissions at a large well-known public hospital. I was immediately quarantined for suspected bird flu — coming from an extended stay in Thailand.

Marvelous. I was kept in isolation "guarded" by a lovely young Indian nurse, who attended to my needs ensuring my comfort. Since I hate crowds and had my computer and iPod with me — no problem.

They did full blood work, x-ray...the lot and cost me, including a whole bag of drugs for the infection about $100+. You have to be kidding! In Oz — unless you are a pensioner or on the dole — no way. The pharmaceuticals alone would have come to more than that. BTW, I was cleared of bird flu. I never did get that nurses phone number.

I've long been a supporter of a fully private healthcare system. And I still am.

I have my doubts whether such a high standard of publicly-funded healthcare can be sustained in the long run. However, it is there — use it while you can.

I agree with Wally: polyclinics suck ass. I tried a few years ago, and I'll not be going back anytime soon. In fact, never.

Wally Buffet said...

This is probably the only country in the world where prisoners are treated humanely wherever they require hospitalization or medical care.

They get CT scans, xrays, MRI, full lab tests plus all the medicines needed and here is the best part, FREE, FREE and FREE. Nope, no need to pay. Everything is on the state, including two burly escorts to clear the way. No long wait to see the doc. plus free transport. Only rub is, no aircond. No wonder some are doing their best to get into the resort by scamming, cheating, molesting, loan sharking, pimping, embezzling and assorted non capital offences.

I observed this at CGH when I visited a relative.

I'll say our correctional institutions are too soft on its inmates.