Dont fall sick on a Friday

At least not in the middle east.

For there’s every chance that you may end up not getting treated at all.

Why? Because, Friday being a weekend while you may still find coffee-shops and grocery stores open at the weest of hours here, and even petrol stations that are open 24/7 but NOT a clinic or a pharmacy. No way.

I realized that only today, when Namnam suddenly developed an ear pain and started bawling uncontrollably. The pain was so unbearable that no hot-pack treatment or ear-drops were soothing enough for her. So the next obvious step was to take her to a clinic. I tried to call the clinic to check if the doctor was in but there was no response. Thinking the phones may be out of order we decided to head straight to the clinic anyway, only to reach there and find it closed!

It was annoying to say the least to find a fairly reputed and recently upgraded clinic closed on a weekend. I mean arent health care providers supposed to serve the people through the day? What if there had been an emergency? With the phone lines off, how do they expect to be of any help to those in need of health care? Of what use is the state of the art facilities and stylishly updated websites when the patients cant access the clinic for their basic health care at any point of time?

Anyway we found out that the clinic was to open at 4PM. It was 330 already. But since Namnam’s pain wasnt subsiding we decided to go to another clinic a couple of minutes drive away. This time too I tried to call the clinic hoping against hope to get my call answered and an appointment fixed. But to no avail. Here at least the clinic was wee bit better off than the previous one…this one at least had a voice-mail activated informing its callers that it was closed during the day and was to open at 4PM! WOW, what a service!

As a last resort we were left with either going to a pharmacy and buy an over the counter medicine to relieve the pain or go to the government-run emergency ward and get her admitted.

Now since Namnam’s condition was not so serious that it called for an emergency admission yet not so slight that it could be neglected we thought of going to a pharmacy.

But.

As expected the pharmacy that we came across first while on our way had its shutter down! Thankfully a few blocks further down the road there was one store which was open and we got Namnam the required medicine. She gulped it down while in the car, without a whimper.

The pharmacist adviced us to wait for 2 hours within which time the pain would subside. If it didnt then we were to go to the emergency.

The pain subsided after one hour and Namnam was back to her active self.

However this whole experience left a very disturbing mark in my mind with respect to the health care system here. I am still wondering about the purpose of such healthcare facilities in the first place when they cant ensure the basic service to people!

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20 thoughts on “Dont fall sick on a Friday

  1. Oh ho I hope she is doing ok now and the pain has stopped, hate it when kids get Sick.

    It’s the same here weekend all seems to close what is worst is if u ring a gp for appointment you will be lucky to get one.. today is 29th I called my gp for an appointment guess when I got it for 9th July 9am.. it is 10 days away anyone will get fine by that many days…

    Hugs to namnam.

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    1. Oh yea that happened to me during my days in the UK. It’s so weird 😐
      Fortunately I didn’t come down with serious illness… and managed to survive on medicines I had brought from India. Phew!

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  2. Bik, Ash, didnt know this happened in places like UK as well! Always thought this phenomenon was more specific to this side of the world where service orientation is very poor.

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    1. you would get service if you went to the pediatric emergency health center in al sadd.. they are very prompt in dispensing pain medication too 😀

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  3. Health care is one of the few dis-advantages of living in Gulf countries.I had to take varu to a government hospital and there too much crowd were there by the time her turn came she was fine and we came back,this happened when varu was months baby.

    In dubai most of doctors are available on phones even on holidays they answer the call and prescribe the medicine but they make sure that next working day we go to them without fail.

    Oman used to be horrible,fridays are curfew days…..

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  4. It sounds horrible! Hugs to both you and Namnam…
    Here too, we don’t have the concept of going to a doctor to get something treated without a prioir appointment…

    I realised how inconvenient this is when I was in hopeless pain because of my knee and the only place I could go was the emergency room at the hospital which was pretty overwhelming

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  5. I think the clinics earn enough and more on the week days to have a comfort zone during the weekends.. Its always the common people like us who get harmed.. What for them when they merely take this profession as a way to mint money…
    Anyways, glad to know Nanman is fine..

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    1. I was amazed to see the whole clinic locked..not even skeleton staff around nor phones being attended. At the very least a general practitioner could have been made available.

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  6. Good to know that Namnam was fine soon. If it was a serious pain, what would people do? I never knew that this happens in UK too – Bikram’s comment. What to do in an emergency?

    Here too, most of the clinics are closed on Sunday and most of the doctors are not available on a Sunday. Yes, they too have their life to lead, but we always get scary if we are not well on a Sunday.

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    1. I have never faced such a problem in Delhi, Sandhya. Yes I agree they have a life to lead too, but the clinics can make arrangements by way of placing some skeleton staff on roaster duty or something like that so that those in need of immediate care can be attended to.

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  7. I’m not aware of the systems there…so just asking what about the doctors who attend the emergency cases at their home,whatever time of the day? I mean like a doctor who lives in your locality or near by? Would it not be possible to take the patient to their residences?

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  8. Deeps,

    Hugs!! I hope namnam is fine now. It is better in Singapore that ways then. We have 24 hour clinics. Barring the waiting time at times, it is quite okay. However getting specialist appointments can be hard at times, though.
    Thank God you could buy some over the counter medicine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Is there any way you can raise the issue ? Or look at any doctor who practices from home ?

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  9. Gosh, that is one scary situation to be in! Reminded me of Gujarat during Diwali and Uttarayan. During Uttarayan, the whole city is closed for close to 2 days, everyone is busy flying kites. During Diwali, most stores are closed for almost a week. Some doctors are open, most are not during this time. I always used to wonder – what if someone really needs medical help during this time?

    Thank God you could find some OTC medication and Namnam got better. 🙂

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