Atlas Medical Center

I am not one of those who would get concerned over spending out of my own pocket if I got better or quicker consultation and cleaner or hygienic waiting areas in Doha's clinics.

Though I went to work during the first two days of flu, I badly needed a couple of days of rest to fight the virus. I happened to be at Barwa’s Mega mart vegetable market when I finally realized I no longer wanted to survive on Panadols and definitely needed to see a doc.

I entered the Atlas Medical Center situated just on the opposite side of the car park of the mart only to find myself the only patient at the reception when all other clinics are full of patients during these times. After the usual upfront consultation charges taken, I was asked to wait for the call of the nurse from one of the doctor’s cabins. I told the young Indian doctor that it was the third day of the infection and I had partially lost my voice due to an inflammation of the larynx. I also told him I didn’t believe in taking antibiotics during the first week of influenza and that I badly needed to rest for a couple of days. He handed me over the prescription with almost 5 to 6 different kinds of tablets and syrups and out of them one seemed to be an antibiotic. I noticed he hadn’t written the sick leaves yet. When I asked to write down how many days of rest would be required, he asked me to buy the medicines first from the pharmacy and come back to take the main prescription. I got the drift but had no mood to argue.

Question: What does buying medicines from their own pharmacy have to do with how many days a patient would have to rest?

When I showed him the ‘purchases’, he granted one day-off from work. I didn’t argue thinking seriously that I would recover within a day. But, I didn’t. When I went to my office the day after, all my colleagues said I needed more rest. I went back home for the prescription to contact the doctor and have him grant another day of official rest. There was no telephone number in any of their prescriptions or bills. So finally I got it from QTEL. I was so sick and weak yesterday that I didn’t feel like persuading the doctor on the same thing. I stayed back at home thinking I would get the sick leave revised to 2 days later.

Today, I worked again after 2 days of rest. After finishing with my office, I went straight to the doctor hoping to give a last try for another day of leave. I involved the medical coordinator and a senior doctor too but to no avail. They all requested me to seek a consultation from an ENT specialist again if I wanted another day off tomorrow but the previous day's couldn’t be revised.

Question: How low has medical profession come too?

My parents had always taught me, good physicians needed to be good human beings first.

Comments

Blockhead

Patient, yet you dared to get yourself treated there.....
That's the last place i would ever visit "Atlas Medical Centre" Barwa Village.
Doctors there lousy, No customer attention unless you wear a white long robe?????

s_isale

this is what insurance has done to the clinics here. An easy way to make more money....

hcn004

I agree with s_isale, Doctors are prescribing lot of unwanted medicines because of the insurance claims. Last week I went to a clinic different one with a mild flue and they wrote 5 different kind of tablets including anti biotic...I dont think its a good idea to take all these medicines when there is really no need....

FathimaH

Poor you,DK. But thanks for the heads up anyways. I'm sure your post will avail anyone who may consider going to this obviously lousy clinic for medical aid. Seriously very unprofessional.. and when it comes to the medical field unlike many other departments, unprofessional-ism can actually be life threatening so best avoid Atlas Medical center hear after. The doctor kinda reminds me of this senile and racist doctor I once consulted in Sri lanka and trust me when I say she nearly killed me! *shudders*
Hope you are feeling better today.Your parents were right..kudos to them!

seasons

All private clinics a really bad over here especially the one's related to this clinic. Recently i made a scene at Apollo Clinic and would never recommend any one to go there. They don't care about the sick they just sit there to make money..

s_isale

if the doctors in the private clinic ask whether you have insurance, then you are going to be prescribed medications royally.

anonymous

Thanks Fathima and all others...I am doing much better today.

I seriously think, its time, the Medical Commission addresses to the real needs of patients during common ailments like these. During fevers, common colds or stomach upsets all a patient needs is rest and regulated food intake. Medical Centers that are targetting the expat asian working class, need to work ethically and not use their authority to maximise the sale of drugs. In the last 3 years here, this was probably the first time I was so sick that I needed to see a doctor. I found out doctors are hands in gloves with the hospital management to maximise the profits in their pharmacy at the expense of the patients money and health.

-Doctors prescribe nearly 1.5 times the quantity of antibiotics during the first consultation itself. Any sane person would understand it's against medical ethics.

-In addition to antibiotics, over prescribing is done whenever doctors find the patient is insured.

-Through these these petty stunts, as I wrote earlier, they make sure patients buy all prescribed drugs from their pharmacies only.

-When we try to explain to them that during these times, rest is required more than anything else, they say they got very strict instructions from the Medical Commission not to grant more than 1 day of rest..which I think should be based on the condition of the patients and not a blanket strategy.

I really don't understand why the Medical Commission doesn't understand the long term implications of such practices on the overall health of the expats.

If we are modern slaves, it fits perfectly fine with the medical facilities provided to them.

mcdonalds3000

Apollo clinic sucks! Never go there as they will never accept insurance card. They only accept pure cash!

s_isale

better pay cash and get treated normally instead of using an insurance policy and getting treated with extra care....

anonymous

Al Rafa is not bad..though the one near the QTEL signal is a small stingy place always full of patients, the treatment, I heard, is much better than what it is in other clinics, if one considers value for money.

unnikuroor

No doctor or clinic in Doha is legally permitted to give back-dated sick-leave(i.e sick leave certificate for leave taken on previous days).This has medico-legal and ethical implications which the public is not aware of.Again does anybody realize the vast misuse of sick-leaves that is taking place?People visit clinics purely for sick-leaves with spurious complaints(there are many complaints that are subjective and cannot be verified on clinical examination)and leave without collecting medicines.The doctors or clinics should not alone be squarely blamed for sticking to the existing laws set out by the Health department.

stealth

unni, but if you have wasta with the doctors, they still give it to you isnt it?

han19

Hello Doha knight, first of all ,I hope you are feeling well. I suffered from the worst cold for an entire month, so I know what you are going through.

You should actually file a complaint about this behavior with the insurance company with a copy to the clinic group. The insurance companies are very strict about these kinds of behaviors, since it's a misuse of the system and from personal experience, I know that they do investigate.

Next, when you know that your voice is almost out, you must visit a specialist, sometimes you can't avoid taking antibiotics because the infection would be a bad one, but avoid going to be a GP, when you know that you are quite sick.

And yes, the doctors are not allowed to give backdated sick leave, which is really weird, because if the person is very sick, how can he even go to the clinic to get a sick leave.

You may also want to consider going to the health centre next time, because they would be giving the same medicines anyway, and they have a rule about dispensing antibiotics.

Take care.

anonymous

han19, Thank you for your empathetic and informative response. Regarding my condition, it was not the first time I had lost my voice during a sore throat. Since I knew it was just another symptom of cold, I didn't want to see a specialist.

All I am taking about is the disconnect between the extent of sickness of the patient and the number of leaves granted to him. We, engineers have to drive down to construction sites and inspect mechanical work. If someone, just to save a day of his salary, has to drive down to work or to the clinic with head-reeling condition, weakness and fever etc., how do you think he could save himself on the road with the kind of traffic we see nowadays.

Doctors, on the other hand are pressurised by their clinics to give only one day sick leave. However, I have noticed, this is also a random decision..could be one or two days depending on who the doctor was and if he knew the patient well !! There is certainly some disconnect here.

han19

Hi Doha knight, I do agree with what you have stated, which is what I said, that's its weird when a patient has to visit the clinic each day to get a single day sick leave.
But I think in your case, you got a lousy doctor who was more interested in making a revenue for the clinic than your better health. Usually doctors would give you at least 2 days sicks leave, depending upon the severity of the illness, like in your case you had a bad cold, with flu like condition, which could get worse, so on preliminary examination itself he should have given you the 2 days leave. But his mind was else where.

As a rule, i think it should be one day sick leave, but this is left at the descretion of the doctor. If the doctor is bound by strict rules of the clinic, then the logical thing for him to do, is ask you to come the next day, which again is difficult if a person is very sick.

I usually visit health centre for flu kind of issues, and like I said, they give the same medicines like the private clinics, painkillers, anti histamine and depending upon the infection, an antibiotic and a decent sick leave. The doctor at the health centre had given 2 days sick leave, effective from the day of visit, and had asked to come back for a followup.

Ofcourse, here again it's the judgement of the doctor, some people do try to take sick leave to escape work, which is why the rule is strict, but the doctor who can differentiate a genuine patient from a fake will do the right thing.

han19

I do hope you are doing your salt water gargling and steam inhalation for your throat.

Arien

This is the case with almost all private clinics out here. They attract people saying the consultation is only 25 and 30.. Doctors are given targets for pharmacy sales!!! beware..

anonymous

Yes han19, I have been doing salt water gargling like what my mom taught me when I was a kid..:) Now, I have almost got my voice back.
Thank you han.

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