Seeing a doctor at a polyclinic can be quite frustrating. In fact, the chances of seeing one after 3pm are slim.
A sign at the door may state that afternoon session registration times are from 2pm to 3.45pm, but staff may close the registration counters earlier, to enable doctors to clear the patient load within the consultation hours.
Last Tuesday, I arrived at Sengkang Polyclinic before 3.20pm but was turned away. I spoke to the staff and was eventually allowed to consult a nurse. As mine was a routine follow-up, the consultation was a breeze and I was able to collect my medication and make payment quickly.
My observation was that at 3.25pm, the clinic was not crowded. So I was puzzled as to why the staff had closed the registration counters early.
Perhaps extending the consultation time by, say, half an hour might help on busy days.
We need more polyclinics and our universities need to increase their intake of medical students to make up for the shortage of doctors.
Evelyn Ong Foo Chou (Ms)
This article was published on April 8 in The Straits Times.
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