Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting sick in the UK

I once told my friend that even if you have money, you can die of hunger in the UK, this is because the shops here close as early as 3.30pm during the weekends and during X'mas, there would even be no shops opened for two entire days. So if you forgot to stock up food, you won't be able to find any and will just have to starve to death. It's just as barren as Africa during these times.

Now, I've found out that even if you have a clinic right in front of your house, you could still die of minor ailment in the UK.

Yes, I've been sick for the past 3 days - fever and sore throat. It is only after three days that I've decided to see doctor. In Malaysia, most people would have already called me nuts. In fact, if I'm working, I can't afford to just rest my way to health again like this. But it's different here. Clinics don't admit patients with 'minor ailments' (so sombong!?).

I went to the clinic today, saying that I have this symptoms for days. The receptionist replied, "Ok, the next appointment is Tuesday". "But today is Wednesday," I said. "Oh? I meant next week Tuesday, you can come to see the doctor then.'s urgent." WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fine. I try to push my luck.

"But my throat hurts really bad, even when I swallow and when I touch my neck I think I can feel the inflammation. So is it urgent?"

"For minor ailments please see the pharmacist" WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ok, so I went to see the pharmacist. He thinks I've got throat infection but he cannot give me antibiotics unless prescribed by a doctor. (So you are asking me to see a doctor?) I feel like I'm being push around, for something as simple as mild fever and sorethroat. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then I said, "Just to be sure, how do I know if this isn't swine flu?". "Well, if your temperature is not constantly above 38 degrees, is likely that it isn't swine flu." "Ok, give me a thermometer then," I said. "But we've run out of stock for thermometer and the queue for the stock is very long. I think it is very difficult to find any thermometer because they are all probably sold out."

So I'm screwed!

I have sorethroat but no access to antibiotics and have no way to check if I have a swine flu or if my condition is critical until I see the doctor which is, oh btw, one week from now! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are the profession of a medical doctor here in UK a protected species? C'mon, you should work like the GPs do in Malaysia! So for those of you who think that grass is always greener on the other side - think again. Malaysia ain't that bad. We may not have the best equipments, but we dedicated medical staff.

On a separate note, it's a good way how in the UK they distribute the workload between a GP and a pharmacist. My friend Tey Xin Yi would be proud. She is a pharmacist and she once told me that there's a constant 'struggle' between the GPs and pharmacist - in Malaysia GPs do everything from diagnosing to prescription of medicine. Pharmacist is only a sales girl/man at the counter selling drugs. Xin Yi always said that she felt pharmacist should be given a bigger role. Well, come to UK then.


Chen Jie@陈杰 said...

Influenza A(H1N1) la ...

shinliang said...

over here, it's more commonly known as swine flu ma.

xinyi said...

yeah yeah wait for me at UK =p
poor fellow, get well soon!!

Anonymous said...

Hi just wondering which part of UK are u at?
I am in manchester , the shops in the city centre close at around 7 p.m on weekdays and 5.30 p.m on weekends...
I also dislike the way they treat patients. My friend suffered this stomach cram at night that she couldnt even stand up and we brought her to hospital, saying it's EMERGENCY. It took them 2 hours before the doctor did the check up for her!

shinliang said...

Dear anonymous, more important than 'which part of UK am i at', is the question 'who are you?' =P

i'm at cambridge anyway, and...well.....being starved to death on the streets of UK is actually exaggeration, but what i experienced of the GP appointment system is true.

still, i prefer where i come from: the good old land of Malaysia, where you can get food and REAL entertainment anytime.

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小小粒 said...

take care!

wenjie said...

谢谢你哦... 原来我不错...