Waiting, waiting, waiting PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 June 2017 13:56

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

I  had occasion to consult two doctors in Cebu recently, one for an eye problem and the other for a bothersome ache in in the hip. Both doctors affirmed what the doctors in our city told me. I just wanted a second opinion for both of my complaints.

What struck me though is not what the doctors told me. It was the sheer number of people who were consulting the doctors I had gone to consult for myself.

I know that Cebu is a hub – economic, educational, medical, etc. – for the surrounding islands in the Visayas and even for our own Mindanao. For this reason it is wise to make an appointment to see the doctor on a given date. But even if one has an appointment it takes practically the whole morning or the whole afternoon to finally get to see the doctor. I surely appreciate the help of a dear friend in Cebu who made the appointments for me but even if she was so helpful she had no control over how quickly ( or how long) I had to wait to see my doctor.

When I first got to the Eye Institute of Chong Hua Hospital I thought I had entered the pre-departure area of an airport or the waiting area of a bus terminal. It was simply full of people. There was a system in place to determine when your turn would come up and it made sense but it did not make the waiting time shorter.

I must have sat and waited for about 2 hours before I could go in to see the doctor. The prep needed before I could see him called for me to have my eyes refracted ( is that the term? ) by younger doctors. The one who saw me said he was from Nepal. I also got share small talk with a mother who was there to accompany her young son, probably 10 years old. He  injured his pupil when it was hit by a “toy bullet” while playing with some other boys. He was blind in that eye as a result.

After waiting for nearly 2 hours the doctor told me that there was nothing he could see that explained why I have to squint to read, a recent experience for me. He did note that my cataract surgery was very well done.

The other consultation I had to make brought me to a group practice of orthopedists and here it was also like an airport  pre-departure area. Because the doctor wanted a more recent x-ray of my hip I only had to go down one floor, had my x-ray done and walk back to the doctor with the plate, all in about 20 minutes.

For all the efficiency it still is a sad one – all these people who need medical evaluation. Some to go on to more serious interventions.