Kaleeya Hospital


So, according to one, I was supposed to be in serious condition and I was lucky to be transferred from Royal Perth Hospital to Kaleeya Hospital. My appointment was on the 28 June and I dutifully made my way to have a look at my hospice. Kaleeya Hospital was situated right in the middle of what we would call 'private estate' in Singapore. If you weren't looking specifically for a hospital, you would probably drive right past mistaking its presence as part of the residential landscape.

I found a parking lot immediately, locked up and took a walk to look at the surroundings since I was 15 minutes early. The parking area reminded me of a country club in Singapore rather than a hospital. Unlike King Edward Hospital where Albany was born and Royal Perth where I had my surgery, Kaleeya Hospital was a lot smaller and its single-storey building looked much less threatening. The surroundings was quiet and serene, the echoes of hoots and chirps of birds from far distance completed the placidity in the air. I had a feeling I would be well taken care of.

I was served by a team of perfect people for the right job. I was greeted warmly by the receptionist and invited to have a sit in the waiting lounge. I took a casual snap of the place and spent the rest of the time watching how the receptionist work. She treated everyone with the same vigour and totally made the reception area her ownership. It was a sight of somebody thoroughly enjoying her work. I was called in by the clerk who spent the next ten minutes going through my documents. I asked her about my transfer and she told me Kaleeya Hospital was actually converted to a public hospital not long ago but the doctors working there were considered private doctors. Couldn't figure how that works, neither could she, a hospital staff herself.

I didn't had to wait very long before I was attended. I guessed that was the difference between a real public hospital and this - pretty much a private hospital feel to me right from the start. A big elderly Cacausian nurse was assigned to 'take care' of me. She was the type who wouldn't look out of place coming out of the kitchen with a big freshly baked pie smiling widely to her joyful grandchildren. She talked to me like her own grandson while going through my medical records and made sure I listed my drug allergies, the standard things. Grandma even took the trouble to explain to me what was to be expected later and laughed when I told her I was scared.

When it was all done, she personally ushered me to the changing room grabbing my arm tightly and hugged it to her breasts as we walked along and told me I would be okay. Even my maternal grandmother had never done anything like that for me before. I was never brought up in the hugging culture and neither were my friends. It was unusual to see people in their adulthood hugging their grandmothers in Singapore. Over here, it was a common sight. I took a mental note to bring up my children this way, because this grandma nurse just made me realise how assuring it felt, even from a complete stranger.

The procedure was thankfully short but slightly disturbing for a first timer. I was fully awake while the doctor meddled with my penis, rather roughly in fact. I sympathized her slightly. It wasn't a nice thing to work with something on daily basis that you were supposed to play with. I had heard of male gynaecologists completely the ability to be sexually turned on after being too long on their jobs. Even doctors have their own share of job hazards, I suppose.

Doctor did something rough to the precious which jolted me, I felt a very hot sensation around the pelvis region. It was probably local anesthetic. Though I had protection from pain, I felt the sharp insertion of the viewing equipment right through and I was told to relax so that the channel would be wider and easier to slide all the way up to the bladder. That doctor had a good sense of humor. Just like the chaps who told me not to blink when they sent a pencil drill right into my eye to drill the splinters out of my eyes on both occasions.

The view of my bladder soon came to sight on the big tv screen right in front of us. It was the typical meaty, wet look that you would expect the insides of any part of your body to look like. Doctor twisted and turned sharply to get whatever views she wanted. I felt that the uncomfortable jolts would be greatly lessen if she had change the camera directions a bit more slowly. I was introduced to two separate openings that looked like just two black dots to me. There were supposed to be the openings to the hose that connects to my kidneys.

At the end of the ordeal, the doctor slid the tube out and declared there wasn't any visible tumors. That was the best results I could hope for though there wasn't a place for complacency, knowing very well cancer cells would be always present in much smaller forms and it would be an eternal project to keep them from building a base.

For the shortsighted, investing on health care for the people is a very expensive thing to do. That is because they fail to see the intrinsic and intangible value as rich returns of the investment. A good healthcare system is an attraction itself and speaks volumes about the intention of how a government is prepared to take care of its people. Instead, our government thinks that investing in health care is foolish and train the public to think likewise, to be fools like themselves and to echo their stupidity like parrots. Instead, they invested in billions in scholarships for foreign students only to see many returning to their countries right after, some even failing to serve their bonds. Instead, they invested in 'asset enhancement', only to see foreigners selling up their inflated assets and bringing millions out of Singapore to build buildings and farms elsewhere. 

If investing in health care is unwise, what makes losing cold hard cash in these manner? At the very least, you can only enjoy good health care if you are physically committed to the country and are prepared to contribute to it in the long run. Isn't that also a way (a possibly better one) to reduce brain drain and attract talents?

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