atans1

Tales from Marine Parade Polyclinic

In Uncategorized on 28/04/2016 at 1:56 pm

But first, an FT reader wrote in saying “If we had more junior doctors then perhaps they would not need to work long shifts. Could we have a new lower grade of doctor we could churn out of university on a 4 year course specifically trained from the start in what they are doing? Then leave the 12 year training courses and really high bar for entry for the prospective surgeons and specialists.” Background: In England, junior doctors are on strike over pay and working conditions.

Back to Marine Parade polyclinic which earlier this year reopened after extensive renovations. My 91-yr old mum says that now the doctor waits for patients rather than patients wait to see the doctor. Happened to a 60 something year old friend too. He went for a blood test, then almost immediately saw the doctor (who had the results of the blood test), The doctor then sent him to see one of the specialist nurses. He was in and out of the clinic within 75 minutes from the time he stepped in the clinic to the time he paid his bill. He calculated that if he had skipped the nurse, he could have been out in 60 minutes.

He and my mum will, “Vote PAP”.

A Pinoy doctor was spotted in the polyclinic. Nice, diligent lady but she has a thick accent. My friend had difficulty understanding her English. Bet youm the older aunties and uncles will really have a problem with her. They may not vote PAP despite the improvements in the polyclinic.

Which brings me to the quote I began with: why import FT doctors for GP work? “Could we have a new lower grade of doctor we could churn out of university on a 4 year course specifically trained from the start in what they are doing? Then leave the 12 year training courses and really high bar for entry for the prospective surgeons and specialists.”

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  1. I see your sarcasm; but the point is, there are no short cuts to training a doctor whether here or anywhere else. Why would we want patients going to a neighbourhood clinic to be examined by a “fast track” doctor and the rest – those who can afford – by more “qualified” doctors ? At the end of the day, it would be Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.

    Regards, Ajith

  2. GPs don’t need 12 years training — can be even 6-7 years especially for overseas trained doctors. That’s why when you see a very young Sinkie doctor in a GP clinic, 100% he / she graduated overseas medical school. Becoz no 5-year bond.

    Those following UK-style MBBS requires 5 years study. Those following US-style MD programme is shorter at 4 years — but US Unis will require that you already have basic degree before you apply for the 4-year MD course.

    I guess you can squeeze the 5-yr MBBS into 4 years — just remove the long school holidays.

    But in Singapore (and most other countries) you are not a real doctor yet even after graduating from medical school. You still need to pass at least 1 year of housemanship or residency in a hospital first. During this 1st year, you’re basically OJT and baptism of fire in public hospitals tending to C-class patients under lao-lan & sia-lan senior MOs or Registrars.

    As houseman or junior resident, you just have a provisional houseman licence from SMC and not allowed to practice independently (although in real life public hospitals you’re usually thrown in the deep end on your own and you die your biz). And your houseman / junior resident period is not counted as part of the 5-yr bond.

    Link to show career path of doctor in Singapore public hospitals / polyclinics. BTW consultant is similar to VP in bank or senior manager level.
    http://www.physician.mohh.com.sg/medical_service_scheme.html

    Many doctors now choose to become locum (part-time) doctors for polyclinics. Salary rate is $100/hr. More on Saturdays. So working 5 hours a day from Mon-Fri will give $2,500 per week — at least $10,000 per month. But need to meet certain quota of patients.

    $10K is not that much for a Dr with >= 6 years experience, but you can’t beat the shiokness — no office politics, half-day workdays, happy work, not happy don’t work, high demand for your service, etc etc.

  3. Good idea. That’s thinking out of the box. Train doctors at varying levels of proficiency to treat patients with different medical problems. Of course, such a system will require appropriate fine-tuning before implementation.

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