Saturday, November 9, 2019

Still Getting Messages While I Am Away On Holiday

Even when I'm not in Singapore, I still get messages from patients asking about their pain or condition. After a patient sees me in our clinics, I normally give my personal number to them to let them know that they can reach me if they have a question. 

Of course I tell them I will not answer the phone if I'm treating patients, but I will always reply or call back after if the need arises. Except for once, I don't remember patients abusing that privilege. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not complaining, I do think it's great the patients trust me enough to ask me when they feel something is not right.

If I'm travelling, I will normally divert my phone to our clinic, but patients can still reach me with their messages or WhatsApp etc.

Of course after a particular posting that is popular, I get readers from overseas asking about the condition as well. Especially after this post on shin splints which is still our most popular article. I've politely declined offers to try and diagnose them. Even though some of them write and say that they'll be happy to pay me to describe what I did for treatment or chat to them via Skype or Facetime.

Accessory navicular bone?
There are currently a few telemedicine apps available in Singapore, MaNaDr, White CoatDr Anywhere, MyDoc and HiDoc. Majority are for patients to consult a  doctor through video-conferencing or messaging. Common health issues that come through these apps include upper respiratory tract infection, headache/fever, gastroenteritis and skin conditions. It also means you can stay at home when you're sick to get a medical certificate from the doctor.

I remember discussing with Aized quite a few years ago if we need to go this way as well after reading about about Dr Jay Parkinson and how he writes and talks about the future of primary care, healthcare delivery, healthcare entrepreneurship and healthcare business model transformation.

But then again, Dr Jay Parkinson writes about the United States healthcare system where patients may have to travel far and /or wait for days before getting an appointment. In Singapore, we have a different healthcare system altogether.

Convenient these apps may be for the patient, especially when it comes to the common cold/ cough and fever etc. However, I can definitely assess a patient much better in person when they tell me their neck or knee hurts. On the phone or email, it depends on how well the patient describes their condition. Of course I listen to my patients, but I definitely trust my hands more.

For those of you reading this, yes I'm away on holiday. But I will still try to answer your questions if I can get access to an internet connection. Thank you for putting your trust in us and our clinics.
My younger boy enjoying the sunset with 2 furry friends

No comments:

Post a Comment