It’s understandable that we get worried about our bodies, especially in this day and age were we consume more plastic than we know and deadly diseases can often times be somewhat invisible till it’s too late, but we should learn the proper way to get diagnosed and checked up.
Harian Metro has officially reported that at least 80% of us don’t know the actual purpose and use of a hospital’s emergency department. Former deputy health minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya, who spoke to the publication, mentioned that this has caused the waiting time for patients who truly require immediate attention to extend to up to 4 hours.
Facebook user Harith Baharudin’Ritz, who works in the Emergency & Trauma Ward at Hospital Melaka has taken it upon himself to help clear up the situation in a lengthy post for those of us who are still confused as to the actual purpose of a hospital’s emergency department. Let’s break it down, shall we?
1) Medical checkups – No emergency here
“Not necessary to head to the emergency department, just head to any health clinic as it’s clear that this is not an emergency. Plus there are forms you can fill out for tests (for example: urine test for drugs, HIV tests) which you can do at your nearest clinic.”
2) Changing food tubes – No emergency here
“Their medical terms are Ryle’s tubes or NG tubes. These tubes can be acquired at any health clinic and community clinics. If you were to head to the emergency department for this, you’ll have to sit in the Green Zone and wait hours for a simple case.”
3) Expert’s consultation – No emergency here
“Many have this mindset where if they show up at the emergency department, they’ll get to consult with specialists. But there are specialists at health clinics. Especially Family Medicine Specialists. They undergo disciplining at hospitals to become specialists. Please make full use of them.”
4) Changing urinary tubes – No emergency here
“The medical term for this is CBD. These tubes can also be acquired at the nearest health clinic and community clinic. If you appear at the emergency department, you’ll find yourself in the Green Zone and will wait hours for a simple case.”
5) Additional MC – No emergency here
“This is one of the common reasons why people show up to the emergency department. For patients who are undergoing treatment but require an addition to their medical certificate because they still feel sick and are in no condition to work, can do so at the nearest health clinic. No need to visit the emergency department.”
6) Medical letters for the disabled – No emergency here
“These letters fall under the same category as the medical check-up forms as mentioned above. Doctors at the nearest health clinic can help detect anything through specific tests. No need to visit the emergency department and wait for a long time.”
7) Second opinions – No emergency here
“For those who are unsatisfied with the treatment they’ve received and their diagnosis given, can head to the nearest health clinic and make a reference with the Family Medicine Specialist and if needed, can refer to a specialist clinic for further identifications.”
8) Changing of dressings & cleaning of wounds – No emergency here
“If you insist on showing up at the emergency department, you’ll be put in the Green Zone and will have to wait awhile. By right, you can just head to the nearby community clinic or health clinic. Community clinics open until 10 at night. You can go in the afternoons too.”
9) Missed appointments with a Specialist Clinic – No emergency here, unless…
“No need to trouble yourself by heading to the emergency department, don’t be afraid of getting a scolding, just head to the specialist clinic and make a new appointment. If the patient is in serious condition or is still quite sick, then you can try to see a doctor from the emergency department.”
10) Light sicknesses – No emergency here
“For example: fever, coughing, the flu, pimples, migraines, boils and all those that follows. These cases will definitely get you into the Green Zone. You can just head to a health clinic. It’s the same treatments and medications, just different waiting times.”
11) Treatment for chronic but stable illness – No emergency here
“For example: high blood pressure and diabetes. You can also head to a health clinic to stock up on your medication until your next appointment. Emergency departments won’t let you schedule appointments and only have a couple of days worth of stocks of medications.”
12) Prescriptions for medication – No emergency here
“If you can’t get the medication you need at the nearest pharmacy, you can head straight to a health clinic. But if the health clinic doesn’t have it either, you need to know which exact doctor will have it. If it’s by a specialist doctor, you can head on over to a specialist clinic. ”
13) Treatment for pregnant mothers – No emergency here, unless…
“Every health clinic has a department that specialises in maternity, may it be the mother’s health, baby’s health and after birthing treatments. But there are cases of emergency situations, particularly for the baby, where you can head to the emergency department, especially when it’s at night.”
14) Signs of labour – No emergency here, unless…
“If you are pregnant, are according to schedule and are showing signs that you are going into labour, you can head straight to the delivery hall if you are in stable condition. If you are in an unstable condition and are in a lot of pain, you can head to the emergency department.”
15) Medical reports – No emergency here
“This mostly are in regard to insurance claims. This report can be collected at the records unit at every hospital. You’ll have to make an application there. All patients’ records are kept there even if you received treatment just the day before.”
16) Medical account letters – No emergency here
“There are many variations of this. Some use it to apply for driver’s licenses, tinting for vehicles and light work. You can get this from a doctor at the nearest health clinic.”
17) Deaths – No emergency here, unless…
“When someone does not display any signs of life and is confirmed to be deceased, the body will be taken to the hospital, not the emergency department. Certain situations will allow it as doctors need to sign off before the body can be transferred to the mortuary. For visiting family members, you can head to the forensics department. ”
Pa’an also reminded us to be aware that even if something feels like an emergency to us, does not mean it’s an emergency to medical officials.
“The above points should be considered advice and a guideline to ensure smooth sailing for everyone. Let’s be smart patients.”
Pa’an’s posting has since garnered over 700 shares.
Time is of the essence, ao let’s not waste anybody’s time waiting in the emergency department when you don’t actually need to.
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