A Doc's Life is a underground Medical Blog about some poor Singapore doctors. They are sibei sian and very buay song. Best practices not observed!
(Warning: Grammar is non existent in this blog. Those obsessively compulsive about good English please go no further and book an appointment to see your psychiatrist in Singapore.)

Monday, September 19, 2011

How Long Should We Wait?

I was waiting to see my Lokun the other day (yes, Dr Og IS ah pek and need to see dr also lah) and I had to wait one hour! The lady in front of me cow peh cow boo for being seen 15 minutes late, "Aiyoh, like that hor I tell you I might as well come late. Also get seen at the same time WHAT!!"

But then when it was her turn, she stayed in the consult room long long, refuse to leave and thereby contributed to my long waiting time!

Dr Og usually don't complain when I have to wait because my medical colleagues always waive professional charges for me la. Even at A and E, I also don't cut queue and most of the time I don't declare I am a doctor because I paiseh...

I know its quite a hassle to see a lokun because of the long wait. Its like tennis, you wait for the player to wayang abit, bounce the ball, swing the bat and suddenly everything is over in a split second! Still ok if its a sweet young thing tennis player but otherwise what a boring sport.

Waiting for doctor is the same thing. You wait and wait and when you enter the consult room its like kennah hypnotise, cannot remember what you wanted to ask and then the consult over liao!

But how long should we wait?

I'm not talking about how long patients should wait but instead how long should doctors wait for their patients? I can safely say that at least 75% of my patients don't come on time. The range of lateness can be from 5 minutes to anything like a few hours. But because the clinic staff don't want to offend the patients and always got something against doctors, the late patients still get registered and have to be seen.

If I had my way, I will not see any patients that is late. If you are five minutes late, its 50% of a ten minutes consult. Its neither fair to you as a patient to be seen in a rush nor to the doctor who needs to decide on your management.

Patients have many reasons for being late:

1) "Loctor, hospital boh parking one". This one quite true. They build hospital never build car park space one. Expect patients to take helicopter isit?

2) "Raining leh, din bring umbrellllllla". Singapore weather suka suka rain and Dr Og also don't like to take umbrella out, so can understand!

3) "I forgot got appointment until last minute than I rush out!". Aiyah, forgot then forgot all the way can or not?

4) "I was looking for my appointment card..." Alamak, the last time and the last last time already tell you no appointment card also can register...

5) "I come early also must wait!" Ok, you continue waiting.

6) "I was abducted by aliens on my way here!" Boh jiat yok!

7) "Loctor, I have to finish watching 爱 first."Courtesy of anon@1123AM

Sometimes, patients may be late because we cock up on our side too. For eg, they give patients a cardio appointment before the respi appointment and the cardio appointment got delayed.

And sometimes, doctors can be late themselves causing delays in the consult.

But in all honesty, patients being late is the number one cause of why you are not seen on time! The appointment time just keep getting shifted backwards and the ones who are slotted towards the end just gets seen later and later.

So I will like to make an appeal for all those who read this (you must be really bored) to go for your appointments with your doctors early. Simply because the reason why you are not seen on time is because you are late yourself. Have pity on doctors, they are humans and need to have their lunch. They also got family to go back to after work.

And surely you don't want to be the one waiting for one hour behind some kpkb woman.


  1. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Lokun, but I always, always come early one leh, but then still always, always wait long, long for lokun one...neber once got so lucky lokun wait for me :( I always bring super thick novel to kill time. Can screen Mr Bean, like immigration, or not?
    Actually, I think hor, lokun must be more strick, bypass patients tat come late, then maybe I got chance to see lokun on-time or lokun wait for me, hehehe...

  2. aiyah ICA got more budget than us!

  3. Anonymous11:23 AM

    Another eye-ball-rolling reason for being late:

    "Loctor, I have to finish watching 爱 first."

  4. Anonymous11:03 PM

    But don't know why leh, always time to see lokun then got stomachache one, must go toilet then lokun call I not around. People tell me I got simi white coat syndrome lah. I say must ask lokun got cure or not but everytime see lokun only forget everything. So lokun, sorry hor, not I want to be late one. I think some people also got my problem so queue always long long one.

  5. Anonymous11:33 AM

    also lokun you forget when the backlog is so much some people fall asleep while waiting for the number leh, then miss liao! how liddat - maybe give free kopi in clinic?

  6. free drinks are only available at times of satisfaction surveys :)

  7. Anonymous10:12 PM

    Loctor, but at least must serve peanuts in monkey republic right or not?

  8. Anonymous9:57 AM

    Thanks for shedding light on this issue; am actually surprised to realise that patients coming late is the no. 1 cause of delays. Had thought it's becoz counter staff always overbook appointments.
    In busy clinics, AM session always stretch over to PM one. Often wondered how the poor docs can hold their bladders for a great part of the day, just keep on seeing patients non-stop until session over. Then rush out for quick bite then rush back to start PM which is already late. In the meantime patients in PM session start to grumble. Poor doc, come back only see unhappy faces...maybe reason why some left to go private?

  9. Anonymous4:08 PM

    how long should we wait for your next post?!

  10. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Lokun, why you cannot self-diagnose? Must go see another lokun?

  11. There are some orifices (holes) I can't look into. Eg. I can't look into my own ears right????!!

  12. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Lokun, other holes maybe, but ears actually can la...got camera wat!!!

    1. Wait poke wrongly, come out the other side leh!

    2. Anonymous10:24 PM

      Ya hor, but then again, if it works that way, not too bad wat, kill 2 birds with one stone!

  13. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Lokun, actually I got one question leh, why they always give me appointment 11 am, then come before/on time still must always wait till 1 pm? I ask nurse, she says the lokun even more poor thing, got to end 2 hours late every session becoz many patients must gostun see same doc in same session after take tests loh. So almost every patient must see same lokun 2X on same appointment day...cannot make change to help poor patients like me and poor lokun meh? U got suggestion or not?