How to Waste Almost Four hours for a Two-Minute Procedure

Posted: November 25, 2011 in Blurbs
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I should have stayed home instead!

I called MediCard to confirm that I was covered for an out-patient procedure I needed. It’s nothing big, just a minor cauterization. The support rep I talked to on the phone was kind enough, giving me the info I need, and even helping me find a clinic and a doctor. The only thing he messed up was the doc’s schedule. Instead of 11 to 5 like he said, I found out when I got to the clinic (at freakin’ 11:30 am) that it’s actually 2 to 6. Because hey, it’s Friday!

I’m getting ahead of myself. I first had to get a referral form from MediCard at the ground floor. The clinic itself was at the 17th floor. Upon getting to the clinic, I was told the doctor won’t be in ‘til 2. Because it’s a Friday!

Hell should I know?!

So I had to go back down to ground floor to ask the MediCard office if there are other doctors they can refer me to. Turns out they have their own clinic, and what do you know, their specialist should be in by 12. Which is great, considering it’s about 10 minutes before noon right then. I bounded up the MediCard Clinic. My card was taken, and they had me sign their form. After a lot of minutes the attendant told me the doc’s not in yet. So OK, nothing I can do but wait.

While waiting a girl arrived. And then an elderly woman, maybe late 40’s early 50’s.

1230 she arrived – the doctor. She greeted the elderly woman and invited her in her office. They know each other, so I let it slide. Moments passed. A family came in, with their toddler and their Yaya. Great, just what I needed! An annoying little **** that will further drain my patience away.

Almost an hour and still nothing, so I went to the cute girl at the reception and asked if indeed the doctor I was expecting has arrived. She told me yes and that they’re having a procedure in there. So I sat back to brood in my corner chair. When they finally came out, the doctor called the wife from the family that just came in. And here I thought they didn’t have reservations, like what the girl told me when I called earlier.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she called my name. It’s now past 1:30. We talked for maybe a minute, and I told her what I came there for. She asked for my card and told me to wait while they verify if I’m covered. She told me to take a seat outside once more.

She then called the girl who came after me.

Her consultation took 10 minutes, more or less, and 450 pesos. I expected to be called immediately after that. How long does it take to verify HMO coverage, right?

As long as it takes to finish all other patients, as it turns out. While all this is happening, two more patients came in.

After the girl, the doctor called in the first of the late-comers. Her consultation was also about ten minutes, give or take.

Surely by now, they could have verified my coverage. I should be next, right?

I was feeling the pangs of hunger. I haven’t eaten anything except two slices of bread this morning. So I’m getting royally pissed off.

When another patient was called in yet again, I had to curse silently just to take my frustration out.

It’s almost 2 o’clock now. Ridiculous that I got here because I didn’t want to wait for the 17th floor doctor for two hours. only to end up waiting for the ground floor doctor for more than two hours.

At 2:05 I was fed up. I approached the pretty girl again (though there were others there), and asked for my card. I was ready to go. She was hesitant, but obliged. The card was with the doctor. It took a few more minutes before she emerged with my card.

She told me that the doctor told her I was to be next in line, if I can wait. She didn’t say how long though. I didn’t say anything. Just took my card and walked out of there.

To not have wasted my visit, I decided to just go back to the clinic upstairs. I had to process my coverage verification myself, and wait all over again. But at least this time I knew exactly what I was waiting for.

For all this hassle, the procedure I’ve gone through took only about 2 minutes.

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