What an MMC Experince!

This might be quite a long read.

But I would really like to share with you our MMC experience.

Yes, THE esteemed Makati Medical Center!

Except in 2009 when I had undergone thyroid scan, I’ve never again went here. One because I have never been a sickly person but more because we found it far from home. We were used to going to Medical City when it was first located in Ortigas area near Megamall until it transferred to its current location near Meralco. Guess, you cant just change old habits.


Last Wednesday, 18 September, J’s sister brought their Mom at the ER of Makatic Med due to swollen foot to leg area and joint pains. Tita J was then advised to be admitted. They arrived before noon. Makati Med must have been fully booked because only after more than 12 hours were they transferred to a private room!

Yesterday, though, was a different story.

I was still sleeping when I received a call from J’s mom asking if I can go to the hospital already as J had rashes all over his body.

As told to me by J, he went to the ER around 6:30am yesterday. He was complaining of the rashes and joint pains. However, a male nurse told him instead to go to the clinic of his HMO. Because he was feeling weak, he opted to just rest at his mom’s room instead of lining up to a long waiting list.

I dont know but personally I call it turning away and rejection. I know J was not an ‘energency’ case. His was not a matter of life and death. But are all emergency patients need to be technically and strictly an emergency before you accept them?! The fact that J went to the ER meant he and his body needed an immediate attention.

I arrived a few hours after and J already had fever, joint pains and shivering while the rashes had minimized (apologies for a lack of more proper term).

We decided to go again to the ER. When we arrived, I had to call the attention of a nurse to attend to us. J was asked to sit at the Triage area. One nurse asked for his medical complaints while also filling out the form. The male nursed who turned him away was the one who got his vitals. I had to add that the male nurse who was filling out the form did but glance just once while J was explaining his medical complaints. I didnt know their SOP and what the professors said about detachment but the male nurse seemed truly detached and unsympathetic.

After filling out the form the nurse asked me to register while the other nurse was still getting J’s vitals. While at the registraion area when I turned back I saw J approaching me. I told him to just stay seated. I wondered why after getting the vitals no one assisted him to a bed or to a chair. He was shivering and his knees were weak.

After registration I was asked to forward the form to the Nurse’s Station. The nurse then told me to wait for the doctor to call on us. Approaching J and I guess the guard seeing the confusion in my face pointed us to a waiting area at the back. The waiting area was just a waiting area! What I thought was a single bed where the patient can comfortably rest turned out a sitting area which I thought was for companions area but instead intended for companions AND patients. And because J was really feeling very weak, he lied down. You can imagine how uncomfortable that was to patients!

After several minutes, a woman called J’s name and signaled to follow her. She turned to be the doctor. She had her own examination area. After probing she told us that she would request for CBC. She then told us to wait for a nurse. It actually meant returning to the sitting area.

A couple or so minutes, J’s name was again called. A male nurse asked us to follow him to a testing room (I coined it. It was just a small room where there were three chairs where bloos extraction could be done simultaneously.). He glanced back at us while walking. I thought he would assist J while (akayin ba!) but I thought he was just checking if we were following him. We again returned to the sitting area after. J told me to ask the nurse if he could wait for the test results in his mom’s room.

I asked the nurse who extracted his blood if we could wait upstairs. He said he would check with the doctor. He then gave me the medicine to be taken by J. I went back to J to report what the nurse said. I waited for him to update me and to give me water. But I received none.

I believed it was courtesy or just plain customer service to expect a feedback. And I strongly believe as I still do to expect that we would be given a cup of water to take with the med. Was it not common to take a medicine with water?!

I was getting frustrated and disappointed and angry!

I then approached the doctor and personally ask J’s request. I understand that it was a policy not to let us leave. She said we needed to wait for the results which would take 30 minutes (or less as she explained) contrary to what the male nurse told me. He said waiting time was one to two hours. I also asked her if we were expected to buy water or we would be goven one. She told me that there was water and pointed to the direction of the water dispenser. I told her there was no water and no cup. She told me to ask for one at the Nurse’s Station. I did not understand why they couldnt give a cup upon giving the medicines. In fact I dont remember the nurse saying to me about it. He just handed my the meds!

Here were some of the things I noticed at the ER of Makati Med:

There was no customer service at all among the doctor and the nurses on duty. They were in a Service industry and it was expected show such!

Patients were made to wait in the sitting-waiting area! The single bed in my opinion was for those to be admitted and those with emergency cases. It wasnt convenient to patients regardless of their disease or illness to sit while waiting.

And because there was no individual beds the patients were made to walk back and forth and follow the nurses and doctor.

Makati Medical Center’s ER was just a clinic in disguise.

I’ve brought my Mom several times in the ER. I had experienced it myself. In those occasions, though, it was in a different hospital.

Regardless of the case, upon alighting from the car, the guard and/or a nurse who assist you by letting you sit in a wheelchair or assist you while walking. The nurse in the registration would ask personal questions but if noticing the patient’s incovenience or pain would direct the questions to the companion. A nurse will immediately get the vitals upon sitting the patient in the registration area. After the patient will be brought to his own bed where a doctor will attend to him. If tests were to be done, the nurse or technician will come to you and not the other way around. If you need to be tested that will require you to be transported in another area, a nurse will get you in a wheelchair and bring you to the testing area. Upon discharge even though you are using your HMO you will be given a copy of your billing.

This was how I expected Makati Med to attend to their ER patients.

This was not how we were treated!

And just this Sunday, we were told that J’s mom could be discharged. That was before noon. However one of her doctors did not record it in her chart. And so the nurse confirmed with the doctor. From noon to 5pm, the nurses did not receive any confirmation. We were told that the doctor was not replying and was not answering her mobile phone. On my way home I realized that doctors should be always on call right?! Plus I couldnt confidently say whether or not the nurses were actuallt regularly following up the doctor!

I dont know about you but I’d rather not go to Makati Med as much as possible. The good name, the reputation and image was just that, a public image created by the hospitals Public Relations.

My voice might be small and insignificant compared to those rich and famous personalities but I am just wondering if the excellent service they experience was because they were rich and known. How about the common people like us?

I hope our case was isolated and that the highly esteemed and recommended hospital delivers regardless of who you are and what your case may be.

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September 2013
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