Monday, November 02, 2009

Public Hospital Care

CH is being treated at a public hospital for lung cancer which has already spread to other parts of his body. The treatment consists of 6 injections. His case is not followed by a specific doctor. Each time he goes to the hospital, he is seen by whoever is available. After the 4th injection, the doctor who was on duty that day decided that the treatment was not working, said to wait for a month, and cancelled the last 2 injections.

Last week, CH went to the hospital for the scheduled tests. He arrived at the hospital at 10 AM as appointed, and waited. By 2 PM, he was so weak that he was fainting. The nurses gave him a bed to lie down on. 5 hours after he arrived, he was finally tested.

His is now awaiting the results of the tests. He has not yet been told whether there will be further treatment. At one point a doctor asked him what treatment he wanted. Having no medical training and little information, how was he to know what to do? And are they really going to give him what he wanted? Based on past experience, he is not optimistic that they would.

Such is the plight of people who cannot afford private health care in Hong Kong.


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