Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post-GP Posting

Assalammualaikum wrt wbt.
I've just finished my enjoyable, fascinating, adventurous 4 weeks GP placement!
Even though I had to travel more than 10 miles a day to the GP (GP means General Practitioner; basically a doctor who works in a clinic), I loved it.
Not only because the doctors and healthcare assistants were nice and helpful, but also because I get to travel and walk around.

I said before that I want to write about the primary care in England and how does it differ from the primary care in Malaysia (primary care means the first level of care patients get; the first person patients go to eg clinics). I am not sure if this is gonna be an interesting post for my regular readers but it might be of interest for those who want to know more about the healthcare system here, through my eyes and thoughts.

Medical Certificate (or better known as "MC" in Malaysia)

One stark difference that striked me was the procedure of giving out MCs. In Malaysia, we need to produce MC to our employers/teachers/univ admin for even one day of sick leave. And that includes sick leave due to a terrible flu; because only an MC can "certify" our illness.

Here however, employees/students can self-certify their sick leaves for up to 5 consecutive days, if I'm not mistaken, or was it 7 days? But anyway, this means that if we're down with flu we can just call the company/office up and inform that we cant make it to work/class, without having to show any MC.

Which system is better?
I'm not sure but I think the answer depends heavily upon the reason of the system. Having to produce MC for even one day of viral fever makes doctors' work unbelievably more. They had to attend to even the slightest tiniest self-limiting fever; which could have been easily treated by paracetamols, plenty of fluids and a good rest. But bcos the employers WANT TO SEE the MC, these poor workers had to get out of their comfortable beds to a clinic for Drs to see them and "certify" their illness.

Drs here do not have to attend to these illnesses and that changed the whole statistics of "most common illnesses presented to a GP".

Duringn my 4 days of GP attachment in Malaysia, I see mostly cough, cold, flu, fever and diarrhoea.
So I do agree that GPs in Malaysia have more work to do, bcos they see a lot more patients in a day. But imagine the 5 day self-certify illness is implemented in Malaysia, I think there will be quite a considerable number of workers/students that will use illness as an excuse to not attend work/class. I am not sure if the people here abuse that self-certification, I do not have any statistics to comment on it, but I have to admit that even the number of prescribed sick-leave days are frightening. Patients came in with depression and guess what, they were prescribed a 4-6 week sick leave!
How abused, or un-abused is the sick leave? I don't know.

Personal GP

In Malaysia, we rarely go to one GP in particular, especially if we are used to a government clinic. Yes, we may go to a certain clinic, but we rarely ever get the same GP attending to us on every visit.

But here, we have to register ourselves with a surgery (they call clinic as surgery here), and u'll get a "Usual GP". U might not get that particular GP on ur visits but still, u most likely will. So every time we are down with non-self-treatable illness, we HAVE TO go to that particular GP. Other GP will not accept u unless it is a very emergency case (but might as well go to A&E dept for that).
This is good in the sense that the surgery knows ur whole medical history; in which month did u come in with pneumonia, which month did u come in with syncope etc where as in Malaysia, people tend to go to private clinics if they want to get a fast treatment; and even then, people don't usually go to the same clinic. I myself went to quite a few clinics in my area, depending on which clinic has the least number of patients waiting for a consultation. That means, my medical history were split into at least 3 different private clinics and a government clinic back in Malaysia. Not good for documentation isn't it?

But the drawback is when you are not yet registered (which should not happen to British).
When I first got here, I was down with something that really required treatment (well actually I could have self-treat myself but the drug dispensing regulation here is tighter than Malaysia that I can't buy those medication over the counter). And because I have not registered myself (the registration itself takes 3-4 weeks) with any practice (a clinic), I could not go to a surgery for treatment. I then had to resort to A&E. Funny isn't it? I went into the A&E Dept in the hospital I am based in, wearing the scrubs all medical students are wearing. At first the staff thought I was there for a posting.

Ok sorry, I really think I gtg now.
I'll continue writing when I have the time.

-Because life is a test-

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1 Million Changes within 2 Weeks?

I last wrote in this blog on Nov 1st. And today is already Nov 15th. I shd hv written this on Nov 11th! Then I can get smthing rememberable for the famous 11.11.11.

Well, for the past two weeks, my life has been vry good, fun and even crazy at times.

First and perhaps most exciting of all, I've finished my cardio-respiratory ward placement. As I've described it earlier, I found d placement almost a waste of my time. I didn't really learn much, myb I myself wasn't hardworking enough.
But some of my groupmates surely didn't make my life easier (not that I expect them to), but even went to the extent to make me feel awful.

So d end of that placement itself was somethng I cherished. Even d fact that my next placement will be Community placement, which means i'll hv to travel almost 15 miles 3 days a week to the clinic did not dampen my spirit *wink*
I am now in the middle of my 3rd week in community placement.
Let me just explain some terms now.
In an academic year, there will be two semesters. And in each semester we will be in a block. In each block, there will be 3 firms. The firm I am in now, is the community placement firm. That horrible firm I was in was CardioRespiratory wards (I wonder now if it is okay for me to criticise the firm placement in a blog like this where technically, anyone on Earth can read it). And each firm will take 4 weeks, that means next week will be my last week in the clinic.

I now have to travel to Blackburn, another town 3 times a week to complete my GB placement firm. Gratefully, I can claim £5 of bursary each day. I spent more than that for transportation however but at least, there is some help there.

Guess what?
2 Thursdays ago, I was dismissed early from the clinic, and I went into town.
I walked into a phone store, and walked out with a new Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray!

It was a very very impulsive decision I've made to buy the phone. It started with two of my housemates, Kiew and Syahidah buying new Samsung Galaxy SII. Then Madiiha and Nadia bought SII as well. And everyone started flashing their smartphones while my handphone kept getting "jammed" and not allowing me to read the messages in the inbox. Not to mention, the housing of the phone broke just before I flew here.

Honestly, I was planning to buy an Iphone. I was waiting for Iphone 5 to come out, but 4S came out instead. But nvm, I was waiting for the latest Iphone to come out so that the price of iPhone 4 will drop, slightly at least. And I was also waiting for my next allowance so that I'll be able to manage my financial.

But then, another friend bought a new phone and that just set me off. 12 hours after knowing that friend bought a new phone, I browsed thru all the available phones in O2. The next day, I came home with a new phone. Hahaha... O2 is a service provider company over here, equivalent to Maxis/Digi/Celcom in Malaysia. And they have this package where u pay £21.50 every month for 24 months and u get a free phone, 200mins of call, unlimited SMSes and 500MB of internet data.
If not for the £100 of deposit (since I've been in the UK for less than 3 months), I would have not have to pay a single penny that day, because the bill comes at the end of the month.

So now, I have a cool handphone with me :D
And iPhone? that dream for another 6 months at least.

Eid Adha
Everyone knows that last two Sundays was Eid Adha.
And thank God, the Malaysian Muslim community in Preston held quite a memorable Eid celebration! On Saturday night, they came to our house for break fast and takbir.
And the next day, the celebration was in one of our senior's house.
There was no cow but there were lots of chickens.
And children (not to eat!) and desserts, and games!

Here is the video that Eddy, one of the guys did on the celebration :)
I can't stop smiling watching it.
And I think I can watch it every day!

I woke up at 6am, and skyped with my family that morning (Msian evening).
And made our way to the senior's hse. And guess what, it was -1˚C that morning!
The heater in my room gave me a false sense of security. I did not expect it to be THAT COLD thus I put on only a thin layer of jacket. Half way walking to our destination, I was practically trembling while holding the container of rendang for potluck. And I can barely feel my fingers.
The coldest temperature so far was -2˚C, and that was the day after Eid.
Since then, it has never gone lower than 5˚C.

What else is there to be talked about?
Oh, a lott!! How I spent most of my time figuring out and exploring the features in my new phone, and how I got engrossed with this one Korean drama and finished 16 episodes in abt 4 days time. And how I started eating ibuprofen instead of paracetamol for pain reliever.
And how I am now getting better in making not only good looking sandwiches but also sandwiches that taste good.

But if I were to talk about all of that, I think readers will have their eyes partially shut halfway reading it.
So, let's end here!

I gotta get ready for sleep, tomorrow I shall travel to Blackburn!
Hope all iz well!

*grin grin and clap clap*

-Because life is a test-

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Little Bit More Than 2 Months Ago

Assalammualaikum wrt.

I've been here for more than 2 months now. How time rockets, didn't it?
Having said that, however, honestly, I do sometimes feel the time is passing extra slow, perhaps because my life was really "around the clock" back in Malaysia but here since I have only myself to think of, I get quite bored.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

But anyway, more than 2 months ago too, I posted two boxes to England.
One was addressed to Fatin's hse in Manchester and was sent via PosLaju. Don't ask me how much did I pay for it, it was a lot, awful lot.

The second box was posted to K Aniisah's hse in Preston and was sent via surface mail.
So of course, the first one reached first. It reached even before I reached England while the second one took about two months.

On the day of my departure, I took quite a lot of photos with my newly bought camera (I bought a new camera few weeks before).
And to my agony, I realised that I did not keep the charger with me, instead, I put it into the box I posted.

And to make matters worse, even though I thought I put it into the PosLaju box, I've actually put it into the surface mail box.

So that explains...although I have my camera for the last two months, I can't use it, neither can I extract the photos in it because the cable was also sent via surface mail and my memory card reader just refused to detect the memory card.

And so, when I finally got my second box last week, I charged my camera and the next day, brought it for my bowling outing with friends.
And when I view the photos, there was clearly a big "gap" in my activities; from the pictures in the airport straight to the pictures in the bowling centre.
It was as if I laid dormant in between those two occasions.

So, here are the pictures in the airport!

All the pictures in this post are missing 😖😱😭

The surviving captions: 
Both Ain and Diana turned up for my departure in KLIA! And all of my "clan" as well
Brothers and Sisters
And the whole "clan" followed me until they can see me no more...
And these are the ones during bowling :)
I spent £4.95 for a game of bowl!

Last Sunday I experienced my first day-light saving.
When my uncle first told me about the saving a month ago, I did not fully understand.
And last week when my friends started talking about it that I paid attention to understand what the saving is all about.

Apparently the whole UK (and Eire too is it?) turned their clocks an hour backward on Oct 30th.
This is to "make" the sun rise at 5am instead of 6am and the sun to set at 5.30pm instead of 6.30pm.
Funny isn't it?
Anyway, that gave me 25 hours of Sunday.
But it will also give me only 23 hours of whatever day the day-light saving ends in March.

It's 12.43am and I am not finished with my learning issues.
I am still considering whether I should fast tomorrow.

'til then,

-Because life is a test-