Doctor -Patient Communication: Chicken and Duck
Tell me honestly, have you ever experienced jitters and nervous breakdown when you had a doctor appointment?
Doctor and Patient Communication Breakdown
To live in a country with one language spoken , it is much easier to communicate with the doctor in charge of your health matters.
Which is the reason why Western countries rarely experience doctor-patient communication breakdown compare to Asian countries.
Provided that the patient has forgetful memory….
In our country, we are multi-race citizens.
Although Malay is the national language, hardly 30% of the non-Muslim patients in the hospitals are Malay spoken.
Majority of the patients are Chinese who speak Mandarin and other dialects, Hindus- Tamil and Sikhs-Punjabi.
Government hospitals and clinic doctors in charge are almost 90% Muslims which leaves 10% of the trainee doctors who are non-Muslims.
Hence, how do the patients communicate with the doctors?
Chicken and Duck talking to each other!
- The doctor explained in Malay language while the Chinese patients especially middle age and the elderly folks nodded silently as if they understood what he was saying.
- Most patients do not understand the medical terms used by the doctor in charge.
- Educating the patients how to consume the dosage, when or after meal, how many times per day are crucial, what to do and not to do are compulsory.
- Wrong dosage would lead to worse condition.
My dad who is English educated in his 70s, went to see the Government hospital for his high blood pressure checkup.
It cost RM 1 = USD 0.26 cents for registration fee, FREE of charge for doctor’s consultation and medicines.
Extremely cheap isn’t it?
Registering at the counter was easy but communicating with the doctor, it was like ” A chicken and duck” conversation that both parties could hardly understand each other.
He said his part, the doctor replied his part and both ended up with wrong dosage , wrong instructions and worsen condition.
After taking the medication from what my dad understood, he went to visit the doctor again after 3 months .
His high blood pressure shot up to 175 instead of maintaining at 140 as before.
The doctor couldn’t understand why the medication he had prescribed didn’t reduce the blood pressure reading.
Finally, he asked a Chinese patient who could speak Malay to translate his questions to my dad.
My dad said that the doctor told him to take 1/2 pill 3 times a day before meal.
The doctor said 1 pill 3 times a day AFTER meal.
There you have it, when the Chicken said “Cluck, Cluck” the duck nodded with a “Quack, Quack!” and they went home happily.
Hence, when you love ones have an appointment with the doctor, get someone on How to Talk with your Doctor .
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