Tuesday, March 21, 2006

An Open Letter

Blogger's note: The post you're about to read was an edited version of a letter from a friend whose wrath about the supposed incompetency of a certain medical institution's staff that almost killed her.

March 7, 2006

An open letter to Fortmed

This letter aims to highlight and complain the negligence of some of your staff in FortMed Medical Clinic last Wednesday, March 1, 2006
Morning of March 1, I was suffering from severe pain in the lower right side of my body. After physical examination conducted by my company’s in-house physician, I was advised to be subjected immediately to laboratory tests (CBC and Urinalysis) to confirm UTI and rule out Appendicitis. Due to the urgency of this case, I was brought to FortMed through the ambulance mobile.
Upon arriving at FortMed 9:45am, I informed the receptionist that I was sent home by the company and should undergo immediate lab tests (CBC and Urinalysis). The receptionist referred me to the records section personnel. I then informed the records section personnel the same. After a few questions, I presented my Maxicare Card, Maxicare Lab Request Slip and Sent Home Advise certification. I was hoping she would quickly attend to my request after explaining my situation, but the personnel just told me to wait for my name to be called. While waiting excruciatingly, I went back and followed up my name only to be redirected to the nurses’ station. I instinctively obeyed but the nurse said that it is not yet encoded and insisted to wait for my name to be called.
After an hour of waiting feverishly and having chills, a male staff called my name. I approached him and he handed me a lab request and a slip (on it, written CBC 55 and U/A 22, total PhP77). He explained that the fees for the lab tests will be charged on my Maxicare Card, however, an additional fee should be paid in cash for the “rush service”. After paying PhP77, the male staff gave me the lab request form and told me to, again, wait for my name to be called.
I approached the nurses’ station after another hour. This time I complained that I already waited for 2 hours and yet my name has not been summoned. She said that I should have gone to the lab after I paid the extra rush service fee. I told the nurse and it was very clear to me that one of her male colleagues, after duly submitting all accomplished slips and payment, told me to wait for my name to be called again.
With that, I requested to pull out my laboratory request and get a refund. Around 12 noon, my husband arrived (from an undertime work!) and accompanied me to talk to FortMed’s Admin Officer. The Admin Officer apologized and insisted that I be checked at that time. I refused. I would not risk another chance at FortMed, so my husband & I left to transfer in a hospital.
We rushed to the Calamba Medical Center (CMC) and I was immediately admitted in Emergency Room due to pain, fever (39.6°C) and chills. Lab tests were done. Few minutes after, there’s already a result. I was diagnosed of Acute Pyelonephritis.
First of all, my case should have been treated as urgent, if not emergency. But still, I painstakingly waited for the first hour, thinking that it is normal to be put on queue. But bearing the pain for 2 hours is too much, only to find out I was waiting for nothing. I have not eaten since morning due to the company physician’s advice to delay eating to prevent further damage. For if it could have been Appendicitis, my appendix would have already ruptured long before a FortMed staff would attend to me. FortMed service is as slow as a turtle compared to others in treating urgent cases (read: EMERGENCY). Also, my waiting could have been cut short if only these FortMed staff are learned enough to give out right instructions.
Secondly, I know for a fact that CBC and Urinalysis results come out after 1 hour. But according to FortMed staff, the laboratory results are due after 5 hours. Five hours is too long for a lab result to be released. Does this mean FortMed don’t have the equipment for a faster service? Or, it’s staff and nurses are totally lazy to move a muscle in quick mode? And why would FortMed charge additional fees for rush service, when the rush service time is the same as the regular time of 1 hour?
Thirdly, I am a patient in Calamba Medical Center (CMC), however, I opted to be sent to FortMed, for tests to be done and be out the fastest time possible. FortMed is the nearest clinic for the companies in Laguna Technopark. And I don’t think people just rely on proximity. People rely on efficiency.
The reason why I wrote this is to express my disappointment in FortMed’s staff and service. I am very infuriated with this experienced in the said clinic. I will share my story to close relatives and friends, for them to be aware of your substandard quality of service. And I just hope that would save PATIENTS experiencing the same.
The PATIENTS that come in FortMed chose the clinic above others, thus, they entrust their health to this institution. PATIENTS should be treated with utmost care and not as if they’re just passers-by, who come and go. Most of them, won’t mind paying the high fees as long as their receiving quality service. PATIENTS should be attended accordingly, and not like hours of waiting is normal.

Sincerely yours,
(Name witheld)


bhergs said...

ang galing galing mo pare!!! the best... babasahin ko lahat yan.

>>Jervis said...

hi bhergs! kaw ba yung nakasama ko sa yellow taxi nung good friday? thanks for the comment! :)