I just have to get this off my chest before I go off for the weekend. We referred a patient (who is the mother of a consultant here) to the orthopaedic department for what we thought might be a hip fracture. We sent a referral letter to the orthopaedic consultant on call. By tradition, usually a Medical Officer will write the referral and sign his name on behalf of the referring consultant (hence, the ‘BO’ in the picture which in malay meant ‘bagi pihak’ or on behalf of ).
In fact, only the medical department do this. Other departments usually just ask the house officer to call us when they refer a patient and much of the time, the referring house officer hasn’t the faintest idea what the patient has and what the referral was for! And what do we do? We keep our cool and see the patient anyhow. The patient matters, protocol is secondary.
The referral letter was returned to us today. On it was scribbled rudely “CONSULTANT TO CONSULTANT ONLY. BP not acceptable”. The patient was not seen.
To me this smacks of sheer arrogance. To Prof C, I have this to say, “please do not be such an arrogant person. Please do not let your pride or ego cloud your judgement and compromise patient care. What if it had been your own mother who needed the referral? Think about this”.
You know, this was a referral for another Prof’s mother who is 93 years old! I wonder how many other elderly mothers out there who have no prominent or influential sons are being deprived of care simply because a person has too inflated an ego to care.
In the same vein, Mawi’s (our local singing sensation) dad was admitted to IJN (National Heart Institute) for some cardiac problem recently. This was much publicised by the media. Just how many fathers of unknown sons out there are admitted daily for cardiac problems and not a word would have been mentioned.
We must stop being egocentric hypocrites….
Have a restful weekend everyone.