As I sit patiently in the hospital hall with my daughter, I decide to ring the specialist. “Good morning Doctor, this is Mrs. A. I just wanted to inform you that we are already here”. I get only an “okay” as a response.
We are an hour earlier than the scheduled time but knowing how our government hospitals can be, it is a decision taken intentionally. My daughter and I decide to keep ourselves busy with our novels.
One hour later, the specialist arrives and we are summoned into the consulting room shortly after. Then, I get the shocker. “Madam, I don’t think I have met your daughter before and I do not have her case note. She wasn’t transferred to me”.
I look at her like she has suddenly grown two heads. “Her last appointment was in November with the previous specialist. She was brought in by her dad. She told me you gave her your number and informed her that you were her specialist going forward”.
“Well, I don’t know about that. What I know is that I do not have her case note. Besides, you would have to purchase the items I would use in attending to her today”. She continues.
“I paid for all the items when we started this procedure with the previous specialist. Are you saying it is exhausted?” I ask in confusion. “I don’t know if it is exhausted. It is possible it is and also possible it is not. But since I cannot find her case note and her items, you need to purchase the items again. I cannot use another patients’ items to attend to her”. She says.
“I am just surprised that you do not have her case note. She was transferred to you by the previous specialist”. I say. “Madam, it is either you get the items so I can attend to her or you see another doctor. She is not even my patient yet. She was not transferred to me. No doctor will take over another doctor’s patient. I just decided to attend to her because you called me to book an appointment for today”.
Now, I flip. “Excuse me, I do not know your policies or procedures here…..”That is what I am trying to explain to you. Do you understand? She interrupts. “You have explained nothing and no, I do not understand. My daughter is sitting right in front of you. It is strange to hear you say, you have never met her, meanwhile she got your mobile number from you. It still beats my imagination.
I then decide to give our specialist some education which unfortunately is done in the presence of her junior colleagues. “I also work in an organization and currently on days off. I have a colleague who I have handed over my duties, to relieve me for the time being. If for any reason, I have missed out something in my hand over, it is her duty to place a call to me so that she gets the job done seamlessly. I assume a consultant will decide who my daughter is transferred to”. She responds in the affirmative.
Another staff is called to get me the item while a junior doctor calls me aside to apologize and also explain the situation. This time, the explanation is devoid of all form of nastiness.
I get the item and in this era of cashless economy, they do not possess a POS. I walk another 400metres to get cash from an ATM.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the consultant transfers our file to the same specialist. We proceed on another long wait as Doctor Specialist takes her time to attend to her own patients before any transfer patient. It is no longer “first come, first served”.
My daughter is called in after I ask our all powerful specialist a straight faced question “When are you going to attend to us? And I get a “Very soon” as an answer.
5 hours after, my daughter and I walk out of the hospital premises. I give special kudos to our previous specialist. She was such a darling with no airs around her.