UPDATED 27 August 2009
This post has generated a lot of comments, both positive and otherwise; which was not the intention of the author. Those who know the author well would know he is not a malicious person. This post was written to express what he felt as a ‘HIV patient’, albeit for a short while but unfortunately has been construed by some to be a form of personal attack against another esteemed profession. As such, the author humbly apologises to those who felt slighted; also to his HIV patients (who also reads his blog and are a silent majority) as his attempt to raise a pertinent issue for them has gone awry; while remaining extremely grateful to all who have commented for their courage and conviction in speaking up without resorting to malice and name calling ~ that is the kind of people we need. While this post will remain, no more comments shall be entertained. Thank you.
Jimbo had a unique experience yesterday. One of his HIV patient called him on Saturday to say he could not pick up his medications as he is tied down with work and asked if Jimbo would mind picking it up for him from the pharmacy and pass it to him the next time he is in KL.
Jimbo has a lot of outstation patients in his HIV clinic. It is something unique in HIV clinics all over the world where patients actually choose to follow up at a HIV clinic far far away from their place of residence.
Mainly because they are afraid they might bump into somebody they know in the clinic! Imagine this: you are seated waiting for your appointment and lo and behold, across you is seated one of your previous fling! Not a good situation to be in.
Anyway, back to this story. Jimbo said yes, and so on Monday, Jimbo dutifully filled out a prescription and brought it to the pharmacy to get the medications.
At the number counter, Jimbo was accosted by 2 (obviously newbie) pharmacy students in face mask standing just before the number counter. One of them practically took the prescription slip right out of Jimbo’s hands without so much as a “Hello, good morning sir, may I have a look at your prescription slip?” or “Sir, we are pharmacy students engaged in a research, do you mind if I take a look at your prescription?”.
Jimbo tried to explain that the prescription is for one of his patients. They obviously failed to recognise Jimbo (quite understandable as Jimbo was not wearing a tie, or a white coat, or a face mask, or a stethoscope hung limply around his neck and his name tag is clipped to his belt rather than dangle from the pocket ~ why be conventional?!) and so, ignored Jimbo’s explanation and proceeded to look at the prescription slip and asked, “Is this yours?”
Jimbo was a little annoyed, firstly at their lack of courtesy and manners and secondly, they have invaded the privacy of a person by looking in at the prescription without permission. Every prescription is the right of a patient and no body should look into it unless authorised.
On seeing the prescription is of no relation to their research project, they returned the slip to Jimbo and the latter got a number, told the pharmacist that he will wait for the medicine and sat down to wait.(He didn’t want to be given preferential treatment though he wished fervently that the hospital would have a ‘staff lane’).
His number came a short while later.
Jimbo got up, went to the relevant counter, presented his number, looked at the pharmacist (in face mask ~ gosh, you can’t recognise anyone anymore these days) and said:
“Thank you very much, it’s for my patient. I am doing him a favour by picking up his medicine as he can’t come personally to collect it”
The pharmacist, also failing to recognise Jimbo, gave him a strange look.
The look that says:
“Yeah right, and I’m Obama’s wife”.
“I wonder how you got HIV”
“He must be gay”
“Just come clean and say the prescription is yours”
“No need to cook up some far fetched cock and bull story”
Jimbo left the counter, clutching the bag of medicine and feeling really strange.
Is this what his patients go through each time they collect their medicine? (Jimbo knows for a fact that some of his patients are put through hell when they go for venesection)
Tues, 250809 @ 0700