Mar 14, 2010

Disappointing GP experience @ Pasir Ris, Singapore Polyclinic.

I have an aversion for staying home and calling in sick on a work day. I dont like missing work simply because it affects my productivity and it is a little costly. A few months ago I had a flu. No matter how much I wanted to still go and show up for work, I couldnt. There was the flu scare that time and everyone just freaks out if they hear some sneezing or hacking at work. So I stayed at home and visited a GP nearby. It was not really a pleasant experience because I was sick but the whole system of getting the MC (medical certificate) and my medicine was not taxing. It was in fact so efficient that I wrote an entry about it.

This time I had to do it all again.I have been sick for over a week and my friends at work were starting to get concerned about it. I told them its so difficult to part with my money because I know that if I go to a polyclinic, they will just hand me a bag of medicines and send me home. I told them I could take care of myself. I didnt have any medicines at home though so I was wrong when I thought I could handle it.
After being stubborn for a week, I woke up one morning with a congested nose, sore throat and a fever.

So I went to the polyclinic near our place. I waited for almost 30minutes before it my was turn to be checked by the GP (General Practitioner). It was unbelievable (in an annoying way). The GP took less than a minute to look at me and prescribe me some medicine and send me off home. I got one day MC which seemed reasonable but his contradicting instructions and the one minute throat check was all he did to "know" what I had. He prescribed medicines that would induce drowsiness but says I can go back to work. He said take the medicine 3 x a day.

So how is that? Do I take it 3x after I get home? every 8 hours is not possible if I get home at 6PM and I have to be up by 7AM the next day.

I was honestly disgusted at the unprofessional and ignorant way he did his check up. It was like he was afraid of catching whatever I had so he had to hurry up and shoo me out so he can look at the next patient.

I went to medical school too. I dont have a license yet though but coming from a third world country, we did our check up on patients a bit meticulous compared to what I went through here. It shocked me at how detached and mechanical the doctor here was. I dont want to generalize all of them but I apparently wasted my money and time at that clinic.

But because we are required to submit a document to prove we are sick, we have to get ourselves checked and diagnosed by a medically certified physician that we are "unfit" to work for that particular day.

So I went to see a doctor who looked at me for less than a minute and tell me something I already know. It was disheartening and very insulting. The doctor could have at least asked me how long Ive had my cough and if it was accompanied by fever or any other discomfort.

The truth is, going to that clinic was more of a pain in the ass than the cough I had.

This gripe I have is shared by someone I live with too. The apartment Im staying at has an Indonesian help. She had a boil a month ago and she went to the Doctor only to be given a handful of antibiotics and quick inspection of her boil. I was shocked. I mean you pay 50 SGD for the service hoping at least the person tells you what to do with your gigantic pustule. This doctor however did nothing for my friend. She had to drain the boil herself. She said if she had her way she wouldnt want to see the doctor again. But she had to because our landlady told her to get herself checked.

She told me, the doctor told her the same thing I told her that she had to take antibiotics. But, the doctor didnt even advise her what to do with her boil. So, was she was expecting that the antibiotic would just make it go away???

What the hell. Even online information tells you that you have to drain a boil. In fact I remember that when I was a 4th year in Medical school, I assisted a doctor to drain the abscess on one patient. Even my grandmother who is not a doctor knows how to treat a boil.

Disappointed. Thats how I feel about the GP service @ Pasir Ris Polyclinic.

If you want to be a doctor, you should be accepting of the fact that sick people will always come to see you. Foreigner or local, we deserve the same amount of time and fair service. Besides we are not asking you to look at us for free!

I wonder what training these GP had that makes them automatically know in an instant what you have without doing any Physical examinations or history taking.

Im not impressed. Clerks (4th year medical student)at my university can handle patients a lot better.

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