January 16, 2012 (Monday)
I went home directly after my dayshift because I was a little under the weather. I have been coughing and sneezing the whole day and I felt pretty tired.
And so I prepared my dinner. I took off my shirt, heat the pan and cooking oil and fried the ‘embutido’ which my mom bought for me in Manila before I went back to KL.
Maybe I was really tired. Maybe I was in a hurry. Maybe I was freaking hungry. Or maybe just plain stupidity. Since the ‘embutido’ was frozen and I was lazy to get a knife and cut it, I used the ladle and tried to cut the ‘embutido’ in half. The rest was history. I just realized that the cooking oil splashed on my body and burned around 1/8 of it.
I posted this on Facebook and was overwhelmed with the number of responses and advise that I received from my fans, err, friends.
Thank you to my mommy, Sharits, Fei Wong, Rick Simon, Geri, Kuya Ely, Mami Kengkay, KH Yong, Eden, Tito Felix, Sid and Sir Beda who called me all the way from Manila to give me advice.
Since I did not have any aloe vera, Sir Beda told me NOT to apply toothpaste on the burned area. He instructed me to wash my body and put lotion as a temporary cure. Of course I believed him. He would not be a Registered Nurse for nothing.
January 17, 2012 (Tuesday)
The next day, the pain still has not subsided and I did not have any ointment or medicine to cure the burn. I decided to go to the nearest Panel Clinic from my place. And boy, it was when my living nightmare started!
- KLINIK SENTRAL in SRI PETALING, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
This was not my first time to go to this clinic. I have been here a few times before and I knew that I should present my Medical Card first before they even entertain me. The place was a bit rundown but I had no choice at the moment. Besides getting ointment for my burn, I also planned to consult the doctor because I was already feeling feverish due to my colds and as I have mentioned, I have been coughing and sneezing the whole day.
Receptionist A who could not speak to me in English asked me to write down my name on their list. When I started to ask her questions, she called Receptionist B who spoke basic English. I seated patiently in their waiting area until I realized that nobody’s attending to me anymore. So I got up and went to them.
Receptionist B told me that she could not verify my name in the system. I calmly told her that I have been in their clinic before and asked her to check again. Instead of checking, she told me to pay the treatment and reimburse from the insurance provider. I dunno if she just wanted to cut our conversation short or if she was just not in the mood to assist me because she has been telling me to pay first.
Being in the call center industry for many years, I know the importance of Listening. I also know that customers may not always be right, but they have the right to be treated right. First, Receptionist B did not even try to listen to me. Second, she did not treat me right.
I also mentioned to Receptionist B that I got burned with cooking oil and I needed immediate treatment. Instead of listening, she told me the three words that I dreaded to hear: ‘pay-and-file.’ I asked if she can verify this again but she was hesitant to do an extra mile. I asked if I can call my HR to verify this but it was as if I was talking to a blank wall. It was during this time when I lost it. I raised my voice and got everybody’s attention. I went outside and called my friend in the office, Edson (Terima Kasih! I really owe you one!)
I asked Edson to conference the call to our so-called ‘HR Services for your HR needs.’
I spoke with one lady from the department and told her what happened. She immediately told me to call the outpatient number at the back of my Medical Card. I asked again, ‘”So, it means you can’t help me?” She said bluntly, “No, you have to call the outpatient number at the back of the card.”
Edson called the hotline and I spoke with Subash, who was indeed very helpful. I explained to him what happened and he advised me that there should not be any problem with the card because it is valid in the system. I even went inside the clinic again and passed the mobile phone to Receptionist B. She has been talking to Subash and verifying my name through their system for around 30 minutes. When she came back, she told me in-a-matter-of-fact-way, “You have to pay first and reimburse from the insurance.”
Look, just to set things straight, I could actually pay the consultation because I still had fifty bucks in my wallet that time. But even if I could, I WOULD NOT. I have used this card time and again and I would like to prove a point that my name should be in their system and they should be able to assist me. Besides, when this unfortunate-cannot-verify-your-name-in-the-system-and-you-have-to-pay-first-and-submit-claims-to-the-insurance happened to me before, I was only able to reimburse around 50% of the total cost.
I stormed out of the clinic and went to KLINIK MEGA which was around 5 minutes away from the ill-fated clinic. Surprisingly, the staff in the clinic was able to verify the card and advised me that I could consult their doctor – in less than 10 minutes! After I was given medication for my burned skin and my fever, I decided to pass by KLNIK SENTRAL again and tell them that my Medical Card is valid.
Receptionists A and B were chit-chatting when I reached the clinic. The lady doctor was also with them. I approached them and told them that I was able to use the Medical Card. I also added that I went back to their clinic in order to prevent similar things from happening in the future. Receptionist B was rolling her eyes as if she was the prettiest thing on earth (and she is not!). Receptionist A said something while I was talking to them which made me jump. She told me, “Okay, bye!”
This made me very very furious. I asked why she said that to me when all I wanted was an explanation to clear things out. I told them that I will file a complaint about this incident. This was when the lady doctor went out of the room and spoke with me. I told her that that they should teach their staffs the proper customer service. I showed her my burned skin which surprised her. She conversed with the receptionists in Malay and explained to me that Receptionist B thought I had heart burn and not burned skin. I was thinking, if Receptionist B understood me right and I ONLY had heart burn, she would actually treat me that way?
The lady doctor even tried to console me and told me to go inside so that she could apply ointment on the burned skin but I refused. I told her that the damage has been done. She tried her luck again and told me that the ointment is good and it is for free; she will not charge me anything. I firmly said no and went home.
KLINIK SENTRAL in Sri Petaling Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia sucks big time! They don’t give a freakin’ care about the patient’s condition. The rundown place is a disappointment, the receptionists don’t give a damn about the clients, the way they treat their patients is a nightmare. If I was dying the moment I went there, I would have died already without anybody lifting a finger!
I have called MiCares (the assistance company of AIA, our Medical Card) and will file a complaint because of how the staffs in the clinic treated me. They should have known me better. I will NEVER go down without a fight especially when I know that I am right.