After we were well abused by the so-called professionals at Mt Elizabeth Novena, we requested a transfer to SGH, as they were the only ones who would accept our case.
Side Note: If you deliver at a private hospital and due to complications the baby needs to be moved to a government restructured hospital for either COST or EXPERTISE reasons, you will be considered a low priority patient and your savings will be substantial but not as much as if you had gone straight to a government restructured hospital to begin with. Also – all the experts are mostly at government restructured hospitals; this is evidenced by the fact that private practitioners try to prove their creds when they tell you ‘I was so-and-so at KK for x number of years.’
The only real reason to go to private is to jump queue. Besides that the government system is really quite good.
Seamless, professional, helpful, informative… I was amazed.
Noah got into a transfer ambulance at 10am and was at SGH by 11am. I assume that they took the CTE.
I followed them after making a small detour to pick up my wife from home. When we got to SGH we were lost as hell. It’s a huge place but our instructions were to go to block 5. After a few questions, one counter directed us to the registration, and then to business office and finally to NICU to see our boy. Entire process – not even 45 minutes (including financial counselling)
Awesome. they spent about 10 minutes explaining how the different ward classes work and how we could apply / appeal for the B2 ward rate.
We were later rejected, and rightfully so, because we transferred in from a private hospital.
Once the admin was done, we wanted to see Noah and make sure that he was fine in the new place. But first we had to register at the ground floor and that took about 2-3 minutes. I liked this because that meant there weren’t random members of the public wandering through the halls of the hospital. At Mt E there were literally villages of people living in the halls and sitting on the floors and eating lunch for the great views. WTF.
Anyway, registration at SGH was done.
It was packed. There were premie babies like 20-ish weeks old. So small that they would fit in my shirt pocket. On the upside, the walls were covered with thank you notes and evidence of previous successes in this ward. It was clear that we were not the highest priority patients but they treated us all the same. We were immediately seen by a resident doctor on her rounds, and told of the procedure that they would use to treat Noah’s feed intolerance. They told us that they had to assume that all data that was passed over from the previous hospital was wrong and they had to begin testing again. This meant costs. But we agreed to do it anyway.
The irony of the warding classes is that in the NICU, A1 wards are right next to B3 wards. The $1100 / night beds are in the exact same room and conditions as the $75 / night beds. This is just the NICU but i thought it was a little ironic, considering that we were paying the middle rates.
I’ll write more about Noah’s feed intolerance in another post. The approach was very surprising, and satisfying at the same time.
We were given the NICU phone number to call when we wanted to check on him. We did call once or twice to find out the volume of milk left. Since wifey was expressing milk, it was best that we deliver what he needed – no more, no less. This really was a great help except for the one time that we called at 10pm and got a really grumpy nurse who was talking about how unrealistic patients were and said that we had demanded that the surgeons cut Noah up to replace parts or something. A very unusual situation. We just hung up on the ranting nut job.
The NICU felt like a real surgical 10/10 serious environment. No smiles. very little affection. Most things were life or death so I guess that warranted the seriousness.
After about a week, Noah had stabilized a bit so they moved him to the High dependency ward. Here the nurses were much more motherly because it was a matter of just maintenance.
We are very grateful to both NICU and HDU for managing Noah’s feed intolerance. Despite the hefty bill there were some silver linings like Noah’s feed was on a solid 3 hour schedule and he took the bottle like a champ. They later taught us all the skills we know like feeding him, bathing, diaper changes, swaddling, etc. Really top notch service from a government hospital.
No regrets whatsoever.