Monday, August 17, 2015

Impatient. How This Patient Was Refused by FortMED Medical Clinics Makati

Conjunctivitis. Sore eyes. Pink eyes. Red eyes. It's making its rounds in our family. And it got to me yesterday.

Like most offices, mine requires a medical certificate for any 'sick leave" type of absence and/or condition that could possibly spread at work. Of course they need to know when I will stop being contagious so they can let me inside office premises without fear that everyone else will be contaminated. For the record, I don't want to be absent. I am working from home while the virus is with me but I need to know when it's safe for the world to be with me. So I went to the closest clinic, FortMED Medical Clinics, to go get me some due diligence advice on a piece of paper.

I know it's just sore eyes but I still asked to see an opthalmologist. No opthalmoligist today, fine. Then I asked to just see an Internist (Internal Medicine/Family Doctor). I got terribly surprised that I was refused medical assistance. I asked if I could possibly see an internist because I needed a medical certificate for work. I know that the IM may refer me to a specialist but can't he/she tell me that instead of having a flock of nurses and receptionist tell me that the IM will not see me because I need to see an opthalmologist? The answer is a big fat unfeeling NO.

Apparently, FortMED Medical Clinics Makati has this policy that requires me to see a specialist for sore eyes. Of course I understand. But in the absence of a specialist, don't we all get referred to an IM/Family Medicine doctor for immediate assistance and endorsement to a specialist as they see fit? Seems to me that the nurses and receptionists are getting their hands slapped for referring generic cases to IMs because they all had a worried look on their faces (or maybe they're just scared of me passing on the virus to them). If all medical providers started operating this way, I think that the real ones on the losing end are the IMs. This "you have to see a specialist" stance can lead to the extinction of internists, doesn't it?

Anyways, I don't know what changed. This clinic is starting to leave a bitter taste in my mouth. Their policies have changed, their staff have lost their bedside manners and customer service focus (a receptionist asked me in the waiting are what my concern was - for everyone to hear!). Too bad because I used to trust Fortmed. I used to refer it to friends and colleagues. Now it's just becoming a source of frustration every time I visit.

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