I’ve been working as a doctor in Singapore for a few years now. The healthcare system has never been this strained. We’re over 100% capacity in our medical department, investigations and treatment are taking longer and there is a constant fear that one of us may get COVID. Asymptomatic patients come in only to suddenly turn up positive ward when we’ve already been in contact with them for several days. Several of my friends are currently on QO due to COVID exposure, even further worsening the manpower.
Yet I write this post not to complain about the above, but to complain about the horrible week I’ve had having to deal with one angry family after another. Their complains range from ‘why is my scan taking so long’ to ‘why do I have to move rooms?’ to ‘Why aren’t you updating me about my mother every day?’
I’m sorry but in case you haven’t noticed, but the hospital is bursting at the seams, resources and staffing is limited and the system tends to prioritise the sicker patients first – you know the ones who are gasping for breath due to COVID pneumonia? Do you think that you are the only patient that I have to care for? Do you think that I can accommodate your every request like a hotel concierge? This is near war times. I’m not joking. Singapore is privileged to have a world-class healthcare system, but as a result some of the citizens are so fucking spoilt.
So before you yell in my face or on the phone for the umpteenth time about how I’m being slow, or that I should have done this or that, or told you this and that – can you just for a moment think about what the whole system is going through, how strained we are, and how maybe we might be prioritising sicker patients and not have to deal with every single little request you or your family has? Maybe have some empathy for us healthcare workers who are expected to work harder and harder for more and more patients without any extra pay, rest, or support from the rest of the higher-ups.
Sincerely, An angsty medic