It has become a trend of sorts of late to post up matters pertaining to public health on social media, often to chastise health care workers for reasons best known only to the author. It is postulated that many of these things are actually done to make a quick buck by trying to rile up sympathy and eventually taking legal action with hopes of a pay out. It’s a terrible thing, but hardly shocking. It’s a very common occurrence elsewhere, and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes common here as well. The latest rant on social media had pushed me enough to actually take the effort to write something here. I’ve not written anything here since 2012, way back during my housemanship and it’s been a very long time! It must have really annoyed the shit out of me if i was bothered enough to figure out how to post on here again! So what’s the offending issue?
The following is a picture that has been circulating Facebook for about a week now, and has been gaining momentum the past few days. The person in question posted a few pictures of what appears to be sutures done on a patient which appears unappealing to them. The pictures were also accompanied with a rant that translate roughly as follows; “Is this how Malaysian Doctors do their job? Very irresponsible. This is a Human leg Malaysian Doctors! Not a Gunny Sack! Be sincere in doing your work, your salary comes from the patients money after all! Don’t let it get to a state where you have to beg for forgiveness in the afterlife.”
Naturally the post were immediately shared repeatedly by people all over. Most of them berated Doctors, our work and were empathetic towards the original author and what the patient had to suffer in the hands of irresponsible doctors and how they have done their job haphazardly. Luckily, some being rational tried to diffuse the tension by mentioning that the people who operated on the patient are after all trained professionals and what they may have done whilst appearing barbaric, may have it’s use and perhaps they should give the operating surgeon the benefit of the doubt. Whilst few, it was reassuring to know that there were still people who were able to think with a rational and calm mind.
Eventually many people came up to explain the mattress suturing technique that was applied is ideal for the patients condition and the site of injury. It was also further explained that the suturing technique actually takes more skill, time and effort to do than the conventional interrupted sutures. After a thorough explanation was given the doctors lamented that she merely had to consult the Surgeon who operated on the patient instead of unnecessarily posting it online as she did and generating so much negativity. Eventually, having read the explanation given by various healthcare professionals, the public decided to take things upon their own hands and went on a rampage at the author’s facebook page. This new found attention may have been a bit more than she could have chewed, as she had to change her FB name and eventually remove some things from her profile. Whilst I disagree with what many did to berate her, the whole episode could have been avoided had she spent some time to speak to the Surgeon who did the case to get her doubts and unhappiness cleared.
This episode reminded me of a patient I had a few years back who was involved in an alleged industrial accident and had mutilated his hand and it was up to me to refashion it. Luckily, nobody took it to the social media to complain about it back then and the patient was just happy with the outcome and thankful for what I had done for him.
Remember guys, whatever we do, we have your best interest in mind. There is no greater pleasure for us than to see you recover well and head back home. I am not saying that we are perfect, nor am i saying that everything we do is without faults, however, please stop the witch hunt. There are many official avenues you can use to express your displeasure, and every complaint will be investigated without bias. That said, please stop with the mentality that we are out to get you and watch you suffer, cause that could not possibly be farther than the truth!