Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Emergency Doors

When conversations veered to health issues, people tend to turn off their listening skills and silently doze off into daydream land. Well, this is practically the case if you are not medically inclined or are married to one who is medically inclined. We often think about health, hospital and medical insurance only when we are sick and needs medical help ASAP.

For me, this is that moment and some moments in my history. I’ve been in and out of hospitals since I could remember and I treat emergency rooms like it is just part of my bedroom. Being asthmatic will immediately make you an elite member of any hospital frequent user club. No matter how good the rooms are or the food they serve or how funny the movie being shown on the tube, still remains the fact that you are inside the hospital and it totally sucks. It sucks more if you are with the patient who is undergoing any operation. Being sick and away from the family is worst than having your pedicure during night time. (seriously)

And so I brave this out and hopefully will live the day to tell the whole story. Since arriving here in Abu Dhabi, I have searched for the best hospitals and inquired on their services. Just to prepare myself in whatever health related activity I might be getting into in the near future. Apparently, I am adjusting pretty well with this humid country. I didn’t have any major encounter with the hospital for the last 12 months. I’m quite happy about it except that this time it is my husband who is going to be checking Abu Dhabi hospital’s facilities.

Enough about me and let me tell about the hospitals we have visited for many different purposes. The first hospital I have ever visited here in Abu Dhabi is SEHA. Known to mean as health in Arabic, SEHA is not known for its actual company name which is Abu Dhabi Health Service Company. This is where I had my medical checkup for my husband visa and employment visa. When you enter the main entrance, you go straight to the reception counter which is directly in front of the entrance. They will direct you to wherever you need to go. The medical examination for women is upstairs. If you are accompanied by your husband, a waiting area on the left side is allocated. If you happen to take your medical during lunch break, you will be requested to return after 3 pm and instead of going upstairs, you will go to the ground floor clinic at the right side once you get inside the hospital. Fast service and systematic. The place is also clean and its more like an office than a hospital. Well, that’s how I see the place.

When I had my first pregnancy false alarm, my friend recommended her OBGYN at A Raha Hospital. She and her husband were trying to have a baby and after visiting this OBGYN she finally got pregnant. So I was pretty excited to have an appointment with that OBGYN. The hospital is at the 2nd floor of the building. When you enter, the floor, the reception counter will ask for your insurance card and prepare your papers. Since, it is my first visit I have to go and check with the GP (General Practitioner) as this is part of their SOP. When I finally had my turn with Dr. Iman, I discovered I had 2 huge cysts on my left ovary. That’s how I got heartbroken, but that’s another story and I’m still waiting for a good ending. The facilities in the hospital were updated. It is clean especially the toilet and laboratory. The personnel are also very accommodating. However, I have this one time when this cashier (she’s Filipina, sad to say) she was very rude.

Another time, when a housemate got sick and was confined to Sheik Khalifa Medical City, I came to visit her. The building is an obvious reminder of where you are in the Middle East. The big entrance welcomes you with a reception counter where you can inquire for directions. The building is quite old. And the atmosphere inside is really like a hospital. A bit old kind of hospital feel. She was confined in the isolation area. Her room was quite big and clean. A good view outside and enough sunshine to keep you energized. The good thing about this hospital, according to my housemate is that you can choose food according to your nationality. And you can even order food for your visitor, absolutely free. And also, the room is equipped with wifi.

Going back with the baby business, another friend recommended her OBGYN at Dar Al Shifa. And so I went there, unfortunately, the system was not that good and the doctor is only available on hours that I have work. So have to go back with Dr. Iman. My officemate also recommended Al Noor Hospital. Dr. Sherri was an in demand OBGYN, the thing is when I called to set an appointment it was already packed until the following month. I can’t wait that long to have that check up.

When one dawn my husband woke up vomiting with horrible stomach pain, we rushed to the emergency room of Al Salama Hospital. On a Friday, the hospital was clear of patients so we were accommodated immediately, turned out my husband has gallstone and is scheduled to undergo operation. Before we proceeded with the operation we went to another hospital for a second opinion. We went to Lifeline Hospital. It is a massive hospital. However, the elevator is quite small and it is packed. We arrived there around7 pm and were accommodated around 9 pm already.

For now, this are just few of the hospitals we have visited. Hopefully, no more hospital to add in our list.

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