Cry of agony for a payment by blood

I agreed with myself around a year ago that I will not write this post because of the positive side I see in my MBBS colleagues in my parallel batch at school. But, it seems I need to write this after seeing the news of a child's death because of an ignorant doctor.

Around a year ago, when my daughter was 2 weeks old, she had a surgery for an infectious wound which was possibly the cause of an ant bite or a bee sting (or similar flying insect). As a two week old infant, she went through an ordeal that I cannot muster the words in my entire vocabulary to write.

I'm not going to elaborate on the treatment. It had a lot of cloxacilline and augmentin, and those who know medicine know what augmentine does to a two week old. My focus here is the doctor.

When we found out that the growth in her arm was too big to be cured by medicine obtained by a local doc, we went to show her to a specialist doctor, and he immediately told us to admit her in Lady Ridgeway hospital. And I still thank him for the strict nature he told that to me which I could go forward for better treatment.

I don't think I need to tell you how government hospitals are like. It was a total upside down environment for me and my wife. The staff was never focused onto any single patient. Instead, they seemed to act like they've seen worse patients and this is just "another case".

The consultant doc there is my main character. He visits the ward once a day, and goes into a ward round. I was never allowed to stay when this happened since the patient visiting time was way over by this happened. As per my wife, all he did was to nod and note something after looking at the child's wound and utter some medical jargon to the students and the ward officers. Nadeera not being familiar and uninterested in medical stuff, never understood a word he told the other docs. He never spoke with her. Never told her how the child was and when we could take her home.

We could not bear the case. We weren't experienced parents. We damn well knew that the hospital we were in, is the best place for the child. That single point, kept us there despite all the issues. Still, to know the status of my child, I had to ask my friends using back-channels and my wife had to beg the nurses. After about a week, we managed to get off the hospital and take Thenu home.

Still, I had to visit a nearby hospital everyday to re-dress her wound and check progress. Progress was slow. And we had to make a move. Either go back, or find another method to speed the process up. We managed to channel the same consultant doc in a private hospital. He checked the wound again there.

To my utter surprise, he gave us ample description, with instruction to attend her to a hospital for further treatment to speed the healing up.

So we checked her in to a private hospital, and informed him. Voila! the gold started to speak.!

He came every day to see my daughter, dressed the wound himself which at LRH, the nurses asked us to do, and gave us updates about the progress. No question, he was good at his profession. But in my head, I remember arguing, what if this happened to a child who could not attend to a private hospital?

All he had to do at the LRH, was to tell my wife for 10 seconds, how the child was doing. Assume he has 100 patients to attend to and this will take him 1000s which is 17 minutes of his precious schedule.

There is no use trying to find out what the name of the doc is, or what hospital I went to. The message I convey to all my medicine-related friends is this;
Speak to your patients. Tell them how they do. Take 10 seconds off your ward rounds to tell them they're doing great. Motivate them to heal, to survive.

 Remember, you were taught by free education. Those patients who visit national hospitals paid taxes for your lectures! They missed meals for your lab equipment. They cut sweets off their child's menu to grant you that vehicle permit.
They have already paid for the treatment.! No one walks into the hospital to get free medicine!

If you can't afford to show love, do your job you were paid well in advance to do.

Posted in |