Friday, November 29, 2013


Late last Saturday night while crossing the road to Clarke Quay to check out some live music at Crazy Elephant, I stumbled and sprained my ankle. That effectively put me out of action for the next 2-3 days of my week-long stay in Singapore. I suppose it was my body's way of telling me 'Hey, slow down a little. You have been running around too much, and doing too many things."

By early Sunday morning, my right ankle was swollen, and the entire foot had taken on an ugly shade of blue-black. My daughter took me to see her family GP nearby. The doctor-patient session didn't get off to a good start. My cheery "Good morning!" wasn't reciprocated. Throughout the entire 15 or so minutes in the examination room, the doctor never once smiled.

Perhaps we had got off on a wrong foot (no pun intended). He suggested I go for an X-ray at Raffles Hospital. I was hesitant, as I knew from a similar fall some years back that an x-ray probably wasn't necessary. In that previous fall, the pain was immediately excruciating and I couldn't even get up on my feet. This fall, however, was different. I could still limp over to Crazy Elephant, and tap my feet to the music for two solid hours!

I wasn't keen on paying for an x-ray that would only confirm what I already knew - that I had not fractured any bone in my foot. The doctor probably took my hesitation to mean that I didn't trust his judgement. From then on, his manner though professional, was curt. RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, he recommended for my foot. And on that final note, I knew the visit was over. The doctor had nothing more to say to me, nor a reassuring smile for me to take away. The fees charged was S$98.

Fortunately, yesterday's visit to another GP for a scheduled health screening turned out to be a much more pleasant experience. I was told to fast for at least 10 hours before I took my blood test the next morning.

Expecting the nurse to give me the customary hot drink and crackers after the blood test, I had packed a vegetarian bun, just in case I was super hungry after the long fast. What I didn't expect at this particular medical centre was a complete breakfast station. Patients were welcomed to help themselves to a selection of hot beverages, orange juice, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, cereals, toast with jam and butter, and biscuits.

A hearty breakfast after the blood test certainly helps to make the hours of waiting for the health screening to be done more bearable. 

The lady doctor who saw me was friendly and took time to find out details about my medical history, and that of my parents and siblings as well. She then proceeded to give me a thorough physical examination of my breasts, lymph nodes and pelvic area. She added a rectal examination which I wasn't expecting. "No piles!" she declared, much to my relief. Earlier I had my eyes, ears and mouth examined, and also had my ECG and chest x-ray done. I will know the results of my blood test, urine test and pap smear in a few days. Hopefully I will be given a clean bill of health.

Health screening packages in Singapore are not cheap, but with Medisave, Medishield and Eldercare, and heavy government subsidies, most Singaporeans can afford quality healthcare services.

Health screening packages at a private medical centre in Singapore. Similar packages at public hospitals are much cheaper as they are heavily subsidized by the government.

If you are curious to know how much health screenings cost in Malaysia, here are some links you can check out to compare the fees charged.

Pantai Hospital Ampang

Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur

KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital 

KPJ Damansara Specialist Hospital 

Tung Shin Hospital

The official website for Kuala Lumpur Hospital - the country's premier public hospital offers little information. Not surprising as this is the norm with most government websites. In this day and age, there is no excuse for such pathetic websites that are totally lacking in providing the public with the information they seek.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Rest and get well soon!