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Medical Care Differences

Rory Fleming Richardson, Ph.D., ABMP

I recently visited Malaysia with my wife. We needed to obtain medical assistance for my wife who had an acute sinus infection. When we entered the hospital, we were escorted to the International Patient Office, where the intake receptionist asked what the problem was. Identifying that it had to do with sinuses, she immediately sent us to an Ears/Nose/Throat specialist in the same building who saw us within a half hour. This United Kingdom trained and licensed specialist listened to my wife’s description of the problem, completed an examination, diagnosed the problem and wrote prescriptions that we then picked up at the in-hospital pharmacy. Within 1½ hours of entering the hospital, we had the medications and were back on our way to the hotel. Additionally the cost was a tenth of a usual visit to our local emergency room, prescriptions not included.

Later, I spoke to a Malaysian man who had visited Lincoln City approximately a year ago. During his visit, he had become very ill and had gone to the local emergency room. He was waiting several hours without any help and when he finally got helped,

did not receive the level of care that he had expected. During the next week his illness continued to worsen until he finally was able to get a physician to help him.

One would hope that the experience of the Malaysian gentleman was unusual, but I have heard similar stories from my patients over the years, and have had friends and family who have experienced the same. 

It is embarrassing to admit that the medical services available here in the United States are so inadequate. It is important for all health care professionals to work on the reorganization of health care; to be more patient responsive, and seek to provide respectful, professional and competent services, efficiently and with the least complications possible.

If physicians, patients and health care administrators worked together to redesign our health care system we would reduce the risk of harming patients and develop a healthier and more productive populous.

    Copyright©2012, Rory Fleming Richardson, Ph.D.

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