I was doing a routine ultrasound examination when a nurse knocked my door..
“Excuse me Doctor,but do you remember the baby that you referred for jaundice yesterday?The mother didn’t go to the hospital”
“What?Why?”,I was really angry as the case was considered semi urgent(referred to the hospital,but the patient can go by their own transport as we have limited staffs and transportation ourselves)
“She said she couldn’t find a car to bring them there”
“But she said it was Okay..and they can go there by themselves…ask her to go now”
A few minutes later the nurse came back when I was writing my report..
“Excuse me again,but she said she can’t go today,maybe she can arrange for the transport tomorrow..can she go tomorrow?”
“No!the baby’s SB(serum bilirubin:an indicator of jaundice) had already raised..we can’t wait another night”I was angrier as I thought I was dealing with another stubborn parent.
Then my assistant told me “Err..Doctor,I’ve visited her house last week..I don’t think they have their own transport,they have just moved here and currently living in a small house with all of their 6 children,the house doesn’t even have a proper door,only a drape hanged instead..”
“What?why didn’t she told me yesterday”regretting my earlier outburst…but quickly understood..It was not the 1st case,many before had said they have no transport problem but after further questioning,we learnt that they had actually walked a few miles to my clinic.
Why they lied?maybe because of pride,ignorance or even shame.
Just a few a weeks ago..a grandmother came and begged to see me,earlier I had diagnosed her grandson with nephrotic syndrome and referred him to a tertiary hospital about 80kms away,the mother told me that she can bring her son there that evening but she really can’t,no transport no money.All she did was cried when she arrived home and asked for the grandmother’s help,the mak cik then walked 2 miles to my clinic and asked for my help.
For both of these cases,we provided them transport,I’m not sure if I’ve breached any rules/SOPs,but in my clinic,if a patient can’t afford it,we’ll provide him/her a transport even just for a routine appointment.It’s the least thing we can do for these poor people.
Sometimes,I think it’s amusing that there are people in our country who are living in mansions worth millions or billions but at the same time there are still people who can’t even afford a door for their house or send their sick children to the hospital.
Meeting them day by day makes me thank Allah everyday for his blessings for me and my family,and hopefully by helping out with what I can ,will make up for some of my own Nikmat and Rahmat.