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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hospital Visit

We love KK Hospital. We've rushed Little Boy there often enough for fractured arms and legs, persistent fever and listlessness.... Once, he was suspected of bird flu and our whole family was quarantined in a small cosy corner whilst nurses bustled in and out with cheerful smiles and gentle voices. The Husband believes that KK Hospital has the prettiest doctors anywhere too.

Everywhere you go in KK Hospital, there are clear signs telling people that whilst illness is a traumatic experience for the whole family, KK Hospital will not tolerate any abuse of its staff. Maybe it's because KKH protects its staff and ensures that all who work there are treated with respect, staff are happy and it shows.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared. But the nurses spoke kindly and explained line by line sheets of written information about what would be done to me, how I would feel, what side effects there might be and what the potential risks of the procedure were. I signed at the bottom of each sheet to document that I had heard and clearly understood all that was written and said. I think that is wonderful. It's a standard operating procedure that ensures the patient is given information about her condition. What a well run hospital!!

The decor was warm and inviting. There were shades of deep brown and red. There were tea coloured frosted glass doors and beige wall paper. The laminate flooring mimicked wood. Vases with red flowers matched the red on the huge round clock, and the light brown screen curtains that ensured my privacy had an abstract floral design etched on them in even lighter brown. It was very calming. The nurses workwear was fabulous too. They're these pyjamas like get-ups in light cotton, and flat foot wear. No wonder these nurses are happy. They dress for comfort not style. None of the tight and constraining nurse uniforms to cramp their style and movement.

The anaesthetist had to insert a catheter into my hand to put in the drip that would send me off to deep sleep. It hurt and I was scared... and Nurse Ann held my hand. I walked into the operating theatre and saw a narrow bed in the middle of a large bright room. There was the glare of spotlight and machines of all sorts. I wished The Husband was with me.

A male nurse looked into my face and held my shoulders firmly saying "Don't worry. We will all be here. We'll take care of you." Such comforting words. The doctor had had long years of experience. He exuded confidence, and was gentle and kind.... and he was considerate enough to schedule my follow-up appointment at the KK Hospital Branch Clinic in Ang Mo Kio, nearer my home.

I am terribly pleased that I had chosen public healthcare. I had to go to the polyclinic for a referral. I waited some but was impressed that my blood test results for anaemia from the polyclinic lab, reached the doctor upstairs in 15 minutes flat. It was all so efficient and patients are humanely treated.

The polyclinic experience was in contrast to my experience at Raffles Medical. The bill was many times larger, the wait was twice as long... the doctor was arrogant and abrasive... I noted her name and when I went there again, I specifically requested NOT to see this doctor. The Daughter too had had a bad experience. At 15, she had to stare down the doctor to get properly treated. And if you wanted tests done, you had to go queue up elsewhere and wait a couple of days to get the results interpreted. I decided to go to the polyclinic after that.

The KKH experience was also in sharp contrast to my stay at Mount E a decade ago. The nurses yelled at me. The quarters were cramped. It was noisy... and smells of strange sorts assaulted my nose. I checked out as as soon as I could.

Singapore's public healthcare has come a long long way.


daelight said...


What happened? Hope you're feeling all better now! Take care ^^

Blur Ting said...

Yup. Indeed!

petunialee said...

daelight - It's nothing too serious at this point. And I am feeling a lot better now. Thanks!

petunialee said...

Ting - With an efficient transportation system, good healthcare and good education... one wonders why so many Singaporeans still have so much to complain about.

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Oh dear.. I hope you are well now. I went KK hospital for a medical checkup last year.. and I must say - they are really nice and friendly there!