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yvonnefoong
15-01-2010, 06:40 PM
I need to see a Neurologist concerning tumors at my Brachial Plexus and the Phrenic Nerve. So I forwarded my MRI and report to the Neurologist who diagnosed me in 2002. She is now at Penang GH. She in turn forwarded them to her Neurologist colleagues and they recommended a simple chest x-ray which could tell if there is paralysis to my diagphram. If there is, then we will know whether the phrenic nerve has been impeded.

I then asked my friend to help me call UMMC to make an appointment with the Neurologists there. but she was given two numbers to call again next week during clinic hours. One number was for public, and the other was for private.

I have heard that UMMC has separated their services into two categories- one is called 'public' which is cheaper, and the other is 'private' which is more expensive but shorter waiting time. I also heard that doctors pay more attention to 'private' patients at the wards. I never liked the idea, which is discrimination against those with low income.

As for my case right now, if I were to pay more in order to be seen faster at UMMC, why don't I go to Assunta Hospital where I am familiar with? The Neurologists at Assunta has seen me for regular NF-related check ups and their medical imaging facilities are excellent. Even my brachial plexus tumors were first discovered by the radiologists at Assunta so it would make more sense to go there.

But I am curious still. I wonder whether services rendered to patients who pay the 'private' fees at UMMC are any better than private hospitals like Assunta? Is the 'private' services at UMMC worth it? Is it at par with
private hospitals"?

Initially, I thought visiting UMMC might save me some money. But with the double standard, I also fear that patients who opt for the low cost alternative may receive less than adequate treatment standards.

What's your opinion? This thread was started for the sake of discussion.

USJ27Resident
15-01-2010, 06:57 PM
I have heard that UMMC has separated their services into two categories- one is called 'public' which is cheaper, and the other is 'private' which is more expensive but shorter waiting time. I also heard that doctors pay more attention to 'private' patients at the wards. I never liked the idea, which is discrimination against those with low income.

What's your opinion? This thread was started for the sake of discussion.

Yvonne - you are absolutely right... who said money cannot buy [ fill in the blanks ]... better facilities & equipment, shorter waiting periods, specialised skills, etc etc... all this can add up to a princely sum. My mom's 3 weeks in Gleneagles cost us 51k. (RM51,000+) But then again... I guess all the money cannot buy another mom, can it... ?

yvonnefoong
15-01-2010, 07:04 PM
Yvonne - you are absolutely right... who said money cannot buy [ fill in the blanks ]... better facilities & equipment, shorter waiting periods, specialised skills, etc etc... all this can add up to a princely sum. My mom's 3 weeks in Gleneagles cost us 51k. (RM51,000+) But then again... I guess all the money cannot buy another mom, can it... ?

I don't understand what you are trying to say. Will you rephrase it?

tictactoe
15-01-2010, 07:50 PM
It all depends on the specialist, think, whether you have the patent's best interest in mind. For e.g. my mum's oncologist (brest cancer) in UMMC is very responsible. She advice patients who see her at the 'private' section (shorter waiting time), who needs long term treatment to tranfer to the 'public' section due to the high cost. She will still be the doctor in charge of the patient in the 'public' secton. This was related to my mum by a nurse in UMMC. Actually, if I am not mistaken, the 'private' section consultation starts after normal office hours. Most UMMC docs are not $ crazy or they would just join a private hospital right? But then again there are also responsible docs in the private sector. My friend who was working in Tung Shin told me about this doc who stormed in to see her coz his operation time slot was moved to a later time/date. The reason he was upset was coz he told his patient the cost and if the op is delayed, there would be extra cost for the extra night stay.

yvonnefoong
15-01-2010, 09:21 PM
It all depends on the specialist, think, whether you have the patent's best interest in mind. For e.g. my mum's oncologist (brest cancer) in UMMC is very responsible. She advice patients who see her at the 'private' section (shorter waiting time), who needs long term treatment to tranfer to the 'public' section due to the high cost. She will still be the doctor in charge of the patient in the 'public' secton. This was related to my mum by a nurse in UMMC. Actually, if I am not mistaken, the 'private' section consultation starts after normal office hours. Most UMMC docs are not $ crazy or they would just join a private hospital right? But then again there are also responsible docs in the private sector. My friend who was working in Tung Shin told me about this doc who stormed in to see her coz his operation time slot was moved to a later time/date. The reason he was upset was coz he told his patient the cost and if the op is delayed, there would be extra cost for the extra night stay.

Wow! Thank you. If indeed the 'private' consultation starts after officer hours, then maybe it was merely introduced to improve the system. Nothing personal.

Anyone has related experiences to share?

yvonnefoong
15-01-2010, 09:52 PM
tictactoe: When you said that most doctors at UMMC are not moneyminded, it reminds me of a theory of mine. I always wonder if doctors leave their jobs at public hospitals because of the bureaucracy. This theory is based on my observations while being treated at KLGH. But this is just a theory, I have no proof. The last time I tried to express this by writing it out in my newstabloid column, the well-meaning editor refused to publish it unless I had concentrate proof.

If it's indeed true, then there is a huge misunderstanding about doctors who leave publis service to join the private sector.

kwchang
16-01-2010, 12:11 AM
As far as I understood the situation at UH (this dual service was implemented a few years ago), I believe the "private" sessions after normal hospital hours is to allow the specialists to practice in a "private hospital" environment. Of course, it would also be allowing them to increase their income nearer to the renumerations due to them if they left the public service. Perhaps this is one solution in keeping the specialists to serve in public hospitals, otherwise they would have left.

As I see it, this is a good arrangement. If you would not want to pay the "private hospital" fees, then go during normal working hours but be prepared to wait. I do not think there will be any compromise to their professional services. By the way, public hospitals do have good equipment, maybe even better than private hospitals

yvonnefoong
16-01-2010, 09:50 AM
As far as I understood the situation at UH (this dual service was implemented a few years ago), I believe the "private" sessions after normal hospital hours is to allow the specialists to practice in a "private hospital" environment. Of course, it would also be allowing them to increase their income nearer to the renumerations due to them if they left the public service. Perhaps this is one solution in keeping the specialists to serve in public hospitals, otherwise they would have left.

As I see it, this is a good arrangement. If you would not want to pay the "private hospital" fees, then go during normal working hours but be prepared to wait. I do not think there will be any compromise to their professional services. By the way, public hospitals do have good equipment, maybe even better than private hospitals

Thank you. This tells me that I just need to pay higher consultation fees but the facility charges are probably the same. Most of the costs of my hospital visits come from running tests - MRI, NCS, Visual Field, x-rays etc

At Assunta, the doctors charge a "professional fee" for running the Nerve Conduction Study on you.So we have to pay for the facility and the doctor for doing it.

I wonder if the Private" secion of UMMC calculates like that.

yvonnefoong
16-01-2010, 11:12 AM
I should mention that whenever I visited Assunta Hospital, I had specific purposes for visiting. Like, I need to get an MRI of the entire brain and spine every six months. I'd see the Neurologist who would order for the MRI. Once that is done, I'd mail the CD containing the MRI to my surgeons at House Clinic for their evaluation. Then, I won't see the Neurologist here anymore.

But this time, I am concerned about my respiratory system which might require multi-disciplinary attention and might drag (ie. Neurology, Cardiology, Pulmonology) . I have noticed that doctors at public hospitals are less likely to recommend uneccesary procedures and they are more mindful that I have a genetic disorder involving the central nervous system and won't stray too far with their hypoethesis.

So I'll be visiting UMMC to address this next concern of mine. :)

tictactoe
16-01-2010, 11:59 AM
I don't know if this is a fair statement but my opinion is that in public hospitals they do what is required and go from there. Private hopitals tend to order the complete 'menu' of test cause it's easier than to explain to patients on extra test whch may be needed after the initial test. If they find something, well and good, if not no harm done. For example, during childbirth, how many caesarians are actually necessary? Gov hospitals may want you to try until it is really not possible to deliver natually before doing a C-section. Private practices may not advice you to 'try so hard' after all the end result is a safe delivery.

There are many reasons why specialist leave government service - that itself would be a long discussion topic. But suffice to say, NOT ALL are after $. But of course, some are. Some of the best specialist in the country are in government service. For example, my mum's oncologist in UMMC, Prof Yip, if I am not mistaken, the top specialist in her field. Very,very dedicated. Ask around, the UM nursing sisters are usually very helpful and can advice you on the best person to see whether gov or private.

cskok8
16-01-2010, 12:03 PM
The private wing is called University Malaya Specialist Centre (UMSC). It is located at Jalan University further up the road towards the UM campus. It is supposed to operate like a private hospital. However certain procedures eg MRI still need to go to the main hospital (UMMC); but under the same conditions as UMSC i.e. after office hours and with shorter waiting time.

driftingrover
16-01-2010, 05:37 PM
i hv nothing but praise for ummc

yes , on your first visit, it may be tiring for the long waiting time, especially for outpatients, but once u r admitted as an inpatient, i hv yet to find any difference between treatment of private n public hospital. in fact, i believe treatment is much better then private hospital. i believe ummc hv all the latest facilities as it is the top teaching hospital in malaysia.

i personnally hv 2 experiences with ummc.
1, my son brain trumor n 2, my throat infection

initially i also hv reservation like yourself about treatment in public hospital , but looking at my son case , now i would prefer to go to ummc for any treatment that required specialist treatment.

let me tell u my case of throat infection.
i went to a private clinic when there was a lump at my throat
there they gave me some antibotics, with instruction that if there is no result on the 2nd day , i need to see an ent specialist.
by the second day, my throat start swelling, so i went to ummc outpatient ent specialist clinic.
after waiting for almost 2hrs, i finally manage to get examined by those houseman. on examination , they immediately call their boss(their professor) n i was straight away admitted,
immediate treatment was administer once at the ward by the ent specialist.
day 2 at ummc, ent found that the antibotic was not working n my throat is now swollen up till my whole face. immediately the infectious disease department was call upon to take over.(it was just like watching the telly, call cdc}

what i m trying to say here is ummc is as good as any private hospital, in fact they r much better , as far as i m concern, moreover it is only a fraction of the cost

lhct
16-01-2010, 09:11 PM
I don't know if this is a fair statement but my opinion is that in public hospitals they do what is required and go from there. Private hopitals tend to order the complete 'menu' of test cause it's easier than to explain to patients on extra test whch may be needed after the initial test. If they find something, well and good, if not no harm done. For example, during childbirth, how many caesarians are actually necessary? Gov hospitals may want you to try until it is really not possible to deliver natually before doing a C-section. Private practices may not advice you to 'try so hard' after all the end result is a safe delivery.

There are many reasons why specialist leave government service - that itself would be a long discussion topic. But suffice to say, NOT ALL are after $. But of course, some are. Some of the best specialist in the country are in government service. For example, my mum's oncologist in UMMC, Prof Yip, if I am not mistaken, the top specialist in her field. Very,very dedicated. Ask around, the UM nursing sisters are usually very helpful and can advice you on the best person to see whether gov or private.

If you are referring to Prof Yip Cheng Har, I believe she's not an oncologist but a breast surgeon (and, for the record, a very good and caring surgeon).

tictactoe
17-01-2010, 05:53 PM
Yes, I am refering to her and she is an oncologist ( specialist in tumours/cancer) who specialize in breast cancer. My mum had breast cancer > 9 years ago and was/is under her care.

Mat Bruce
17-01-2010, 09:31 PM
My family and I have used both private hospital in Subang Jaya and UMMC.
We once spent a few months in UMMC after exhausting our funds with the private hospital.If there is serious illness that needs long term treatment, I would use UMMC. If it is a short treatment, then a private hospital is comfortable and convenient, as I live in Subang Jaya.

If it is life threatening, go to UMMC, they are better equiped and better staffed (personal experience) to save your life. I am speaking from experience.Most private hospital,especially the "hotel looking type" treats themselves as an accomodation that has expert doctors consulting. Please read the hospital admission forms, take a copy of that and show that to a lawyer.
A real hospital has an obligation to save lives, not treat themselves as a hotel that sublet rooms to doctors. When you exhausted your funds, you are no longer a desired customer, they WILL refer you to the public hospital , they will say 'for your own good'. UMMC is a real hospital and it is important for us to appreciate those doctors in public services serving us. They don't get paid very well compared to those in private hospital, however,their hearts are more genuine and sincere. I salute these doctors, and their skills are NOT below those that you visit in those in plush and private hospital.
I know I sounded like I don't have much respect for those in private hospital, the truth is I don't .

Mat Bruce
17-01-2010, 09:44 PM
If you are referring to Prof Yip Cheng Har, I believe she's not an oncologist but a breast surgeon (and, for the record, a very good and caring surgeon).

In the same spirit, my special thanks to Prof Lucy, Prof Raman and ex-UMMC Dr Ramesh, of UMMC Paedatric care, who saved my daughter from certain death are the "angels of the world". We thanked you for your true dedication, the 3 am calls to the operation room and all that you have done for all the children in the ward called P3.

Mat Bruce
17-01-2010, 10:00 PM
Yvonne,
Nobody will be a better caretaker than yourself and perhaps your parents. In all cases,whether private or public care,you will need to understand your situation and illness the best and work with the doctors consulting for you.Do not in any situation, let them dictate to you. Ask them for an explanation, if they can't or won't , they probably don't care enough..so take your business and health to someone who does.

Remember, whether it is UMMC or Assunta, you will need to verify the team that you can trust to save your life. Remember, it is a team effort.

God bless you, Yvonne.

yvonnefoong
21-01-2010, 09:31 AM
Hello everybody. Thank you so much for your caring responses to this thread. Here is an update which I blogged. I decided to replicate it here as well and not leave this thread redundant.

Found out why I feel uncomfortable breathing

After letting my friend Dr. Eow and her Neurologist colleagues have a quick look at the simple images cropped out of my brachial plexus MRI and telling them about my discomfort in breathing, they suggested that a simple chest x-ray will do. So Cordy helped me call UMMC to make an appointment with the Neurologists there few days ago. The lady who answered her call asked if we wanted the ‘private’ or ‘public’ division. After discussing it over with forumers at usj.com.my, I decided to opt for ‘private’ so that I may consult the doctor after office hours when there is less people.

So yesterday, mom and I made our way to UMMC at their main building, or should I say the hospital’s main campus. We tried asking around for the ‘private wing’ and telling the people we asked that I have already made an appointment. The standard reply we got was, “Okay, yah yah yah yah”. It was about 6pm and the outpatient clinics were all closed so we were directed to the emergency department. I told the triage guy that I came to see a Neurologist because I have difficulty breathing and it could be associated with my Brachial Plexus tumors. I showed him the report of my MRIs and was led to speak with a pleasant and young lady doctor who I presumed must be a GP. She ordered for a chest x-ray which could be immediately done at the emergency department itself. Once that was done, we went back to her who explained the x-ray findings.

It turned out that two tumors arising from nerves of my brachial plexus were compressing on my right lung. As we looked at the x-ray together, I could see the tumors but how did she know that they were compressing the lung? So I asked and she explained it by patiently writing on my whiteboard. And although there was lung compression, but air circulation was still good and the diagphram was in it's place. Then she asked mom where did I do my previous surgery and Mom said GHKL, so the doctor suggested me to go back to GHKL because they have my medical records there. But if I wanted to be seen at UMMC she may write a referral letter for that too.

Mom is going back to UMMC to collect a copy of the x-ray today. Now, I need to decide where I want to deal with these tumors. There are a lot of issues that needs to be considered.

jimmyay
21-01-2010, 10:01 AM
My family and I have used both private hospital in Subang Jaya and UMMC.
We once spent a few months in UMMC after exhausting our funds with the private hospital.If there is serious illness that needs long term treatment, I would use UMMC. If it is a short treatment, then a private hospital is comfortable and convenient, as I live in Subang Jaya.

If it is life threatening, go to UMMC, they are better equiped and better staffed (personal experience) to save your life. I am speaking from experience.Most private hospital,especially the "hotel looking type" treats themselves as an accomodation that has expert doctors consulting. Please read the hospital admission forms, take a copy of that and show that to a lawyer.
A real hospital has an obligation to save lives, not treat themselves as a hotel that sublet rooms to doctors. When you exhausted your funds, you are no longer a desired customer, they WILL refer you to the public hospital , they will say 'for your own good'. UMMC is a real hospital and it is important for us to appreciate those doctors in public services serving us. They don't get paid very well compared to those in private hospital, however,their hearts are more genuine and sincere. I salute these doctors, and their skills are NOT below those that you visit in those in plush and private hospital.
I know I sounded like I don't have much respect for those in private hospital, the truth is I don't .

We should not put the all blame to the doctor in private hospital. It is the 'more& more-profit organisation'. Look at the bills and analyse it yourself. Which is for the doctor and which are not. They are no longer medical centre, but a business centre. Managed by non-doctor directors and could not care the less for the unfortunate.

Some doctor choose to go to private hospital because they know they can get things done provided the patient have the fund to do so. In public hospital, it is waiting and waiting due to limited resources & red tapes. Their hand are tied too.

My aunt experience with UUMC is very good for breast cancer treatment. Great doctors & caring nurses. The most important thing is she can lead a normal life after recovery because she still have saving. If she did it in SJMC, she would finished up her life saving and even debts from the friend and family.

Rhiga
21-01-2010, 10:34 AM
Can I know how much cheaper (if it is cheaper) the private wing of UM Hospital (UMMC) compare to private hospital?

For example, roughly x% of SJMC for the same treatment.

Thanks

usehead
21-01-2010, 01:33 PM
just go ummc. more than necessary

Sentinel
21-01-2010, 02:06 PM
just go ummc. more than necessaryWhat exactly are you trying to say?

jimmyay
21-01-2010, 02:09 PM
Can I know how much cheaper (if it is cheaper) the private wing of UM Hospital (UMMC) compare to private hospital?

For example, roughly x% of SJMC for the same treatment.

Thanks
It depend on whether it is a consultation/service/scan/medicine. Roughly around 10%-30% of what you will be paying at the more-more profit organisation. If you are paying RM50,000, you can be paying from RM5,000 to RM15,000.

Rhiga
22-01-2010, 10:06 AM
It depend on whether it is a consultation/service/scan/medicine. Roughly around 10%-30% of what you will be paying at the more-more profit organisation. If you are paying RM50,000, you can be paying from RM5,000 to RM15,000.

Thanks Jimmyay,

Try to have more options once retired….. What to do, all my tax monies will never do me a favor when I need it ….

I would like to share a piece of info with you guys.

The Mahkota Meducal Centre in Melaka is a good option to consider.

I have cross-checked with relatives who admitted there before, the service level of the medical support staff is as good as SDMC and overall it costs around 60%-70% of SDMC.

There are quite a lot of Indonesian Chinese who seek treatment there.

AllUrban
22-01-2010, 02:52 PM
Thanks Jimmyay,

Try to have more options once retired….. What to do, all my tax monies will never do me a favor when I need it ….

I would like to share a piece of info with you guys.

The Mahkota Meducal Centre in Melaka is a good option to consider.

I have cross-checked with relatives who admitted there before, the service level of the medical support staff is as good as SDMC and overall it costs around 60%-70% of SDMC.

There are quite a lot of Indonesian Chinese who seek treatment there.great hospital ... they treated a friend of mine when she was sick and they were very courteous. Wifey's family goes there for treatment as well as care.

perfect location for outpatients and medical tourist visits but a horrible location for an emergency department ... unless you can walk in.

Cheers, m

yvonnefoong
22-01-2010, 04:42 PM
unless you can walk in.

Cheers, m
LOL! I hope they at lest put wheelchairs outside so that the patient's caretakers could get one themselves and bring the patient in. Am I understanding you correctly? :)

Mat Bruce
22-01-2010, 11:53 PM
We should not put the all blame to the doctor in private hospital. It is the 'more& more-profit organisation'. Look at the bills and analyse it yourself. Which is for the doctor and which are not. They are no longer medical centre, but a business centre. Managed by non-doctor directors and could not care the less for the unfortunate.

Some doctor choose to go to private hospital because they know they can get things done provided the patient have the fund to do so. In public hospital, it is waiting and waiting due to limited resources & red tapes. Their hand are tied too.

My aunt experience with UUMC is very good for breast cancer treatment. Great doctors & caring nurses. The most important thing is she can lead a normal life after recovery because she still have saving. If she did it in SJMC, she would finished up her life saving and even debts from the friend and family.

SJMC? pooi-pooi

Mat Bruce
22-01-2010, 11:55 PM
Thanks Jimmyay,

Try to have more options once retired….. What to do, all my tax monies will never do me a favor when I need it ….

I would like to share a piece of info with you guys.

The Mahkota Meducal Centre in Melaka is a good option to consider.

I have cross-checked with relatives who admitted there before, the service level of the medical support staff is as good as SDMC and overall it costs around 60%-70% of SDMC.

There are quite a lot of Indonesian Chinese who seek treatment there.

Thanks for sharing, you are a good soul..cheers!

Mat Bruce
23-01-2010, 12:09 AM
Hello everybody. Thank you so much for your caring responses to this thread. Here is an update which I blogged. I decided to replicate it here as well and not leave this thread redundant.

Found out why I feel uncomfortable breathing

After letting my friend Dr. Eow and her Neurologist colleagues have a quick look at the simple images cropped out of my brachial plexus MRI and telling them about my discomfort in breathing, they suggested that a simple chest x-ray will do. So Cordy helped me call UMMC to make an appointment with the Neurologists there few days ago. The lady who answered her call asked if we wanted the ‘private’ or ‘public’ division. After discussing it over with forumers at usj.com.my, I decided to opt for ‘private’ so that I may consult the doctor after office hours when there is less people.

So yesterday, mom and I made our way to UMMC at their main building, or should I say the hospital’s main campus. We tried asking around for the ‘private wing’ and telling the people we asked that I have already made an appointment. The standard reply we got was, “Okay, yah yah yah yah”. It was about 6pm and the outpatient clinics were all closed so we were directed to the emergency department. I told the triage guy that I came to see a Neurologist because I have difficulty breathing and it could be associated with my Brachial Plexus tumors. I showed him the report of my MRIs and was led to speak with a pleasant and young lady doctor who I presumed must be a GP. She ordered for a chest x-ray which could be immediately done at the emergency department itself. Once that was done, we went back to her who explained the x-ray findings.

It turned out that two tumors arising from nerves of my brachial plexus were compressing on my right lung. As we looked at the x-ray together, I could see the tumors but how did she know that they were compressing the lung? So I asked and she explained it by patiently writing on my whiteboard. And although there was lung compression, but air circulation was still good and the diagphram was in it's place. Then she asked mom where did I do my previous surgery and Mom said GHKL, so the doctor suggested me to go back to GHKL because they have my medical records there. But if I wanted to be seen at UMMC she may write a referral letter for that too.

Mom is going back to UMMC to collect a copy of the x-ray today. Now, I need to decide where I want to deal with these tumors. There are a lot of issues that needs to be considered.

I think UMMC, it is nearer to Subang Jaya and USJ, where your supporters are....you will find strength in their support..

UMMC is also a student hospital, the eagerness and spirit of care by untainted youth is there in tne numbers and there are strength in numbers, when a patient needs to be monitored 24 hours , and temp taken every four hours, you bet, young eager eyes are watching.

Also there is a nice restraurant called Susan Deli nearby or Lotus Banana Leaf for food and at least a few churches nearby for divine intervention.
Try the divine intervention, it worked for me...but it is up to you..

yvonnefoong
23-01-2010, 01:18 PM
I think UMMC, it is nearer to Subang Jaya and USJ, where your supporters are....you will find strength in their support..

UMMC is also a student hospital, the eagerness and spirit of care by untainted youth is there in tne numbers and there are strength in numbers, when a patient needs to be monitored 24 hours , and temp taken every four hours, you bet, young eager eyes are watching.

Also there is a nice restraurant called Susan Deli nearby or Lotus Banana Leaf for food and at least a few churches nearby for divine intervention.
Try the divine intervention, it worked for me...but it is up to you..

I agree that the atmosphere at UMMC is encouraging. The young doctors are more eager to learn and they are open minded. In 2004, I was losing my residual hearing and went to the ENT there to monitor my hearing loss. I told the ENT doctor that I was arranging to have surgery at HEI. The doctor said very frankly, if you can to go the US then it's better to go there.

There was no bitterness, no defensiveness coming from him.

drtwewe
31-01-2010, 07:50 PM
Private or public, both have it's strenght and weakness.
Private hospotal is a business entity and period, no matter how many excuses they put behing it.
Public hospital is not efficient, it is the same through the world.

The choice is yours.