Tuesday, 17 Jul 2007 Doha, Qatar
Today I had to see a doctor for urinary tract infection (UTI). Nothing serious except that I kept wanting to go to the toilet. I have tried hard to keep myself healthy so I can avoid this experience but unfortunately, my past came back to haunt me. I have had UTI in Sinagpore and the doctor told me it could come back anytime.
I had no idea where to go except the Hamad Medical City which housed the government’s hopsital and clinics. However, I have not received the medical card and I will have to wait long. My PRO is taking way to long to process this. Gotta talk to him tomorrow. If not, I will have to go to the hospital myself. So I asked my colleagues. There is one Doha Clinic Hospital which is freaking expensive. Registration alone is QR100 (S$40). My assistant suggested Al Rafa Polyclinic which is near to Doha Palace Hotel, where I used to put up.
Beggars can’t be choosers so I took a taxi to Al Rafa. The taxi driver was so ‘smart’ to take a longer route. A signal that this is gonna be a long and tedious experience. I reached the clinic, which was on the second floor of a row of shophouses at around 8.30am and registered myself. Registration was QR40.
I was given a slip of paper with ‘J3’ on it and waited for my turn. The clinic looked decent. Most of the service staff and patients were Indians except for a few who looked Middle Eastern or Nepalese. Within 15 minutes, announcement was made ‘J3, Room 9’. I thought so far so good. The confidence was immediately eroded when I saw the doctor.
She was a little person. No offence to ladies and little people. She just did not looked professional nor acted so. She was simply busy with the assistant and I volunteered the information on what’s wrong with me. At least those in Singapore asked! She did not even have a sethoscope. After hearing what I said, she told me to go for a urine test before further consultation.
The test was the killer. It cost me another QR20 and took more than 45 minutes for my turn and the test results. While waiting for the resutls, I read newspapers provided. I am no English teacher but the grammer mistakes were simply too many. So I only chose to read articles that were not reported by local reporters. Remember how people in Qatar have no sense of personal space? This Indian guy sitting on my left simply stretched across me to reach for the papers on my right without so much of an “Excuse me.”
After I received my results, I went back to see the doctor and she said I needed a mild anti-biotics which I already knew. I asked her if I should continue my gym routine and she shrugged it off non-commitedly. I was thinking I could be in her seat and giving consultations if being a doctor was just that. She did not bother to explain or reassure me. Then I paid for my medicine (QR53) at the in-house pharmacy. They could not be more professional with two children playing in the pharmacy. Let me remind you this is a private polyclinic.
I missed healthcare in Singapore. I could just cross the street and choose from three clinics. One is opened 24 hours. The doctors from my favourite clinic always listened, inquired and reassured me. The assistants dispensed medicine professionally although they may not be registered pharmacists. The only children are those waiting to see the doctor.