If you have missed my first review on paediatricians around KL, PJ and Melaka, click here. After one year of parenthood and switching from doctor to doctor, we now know what we seek for. Ideally, Ewan’s healthcare provider has to:
1. Believe in breastfeeding and its benefits
2. Gentle with and passionate about children
3. Practices less is more, particularly in prescribing medicines for younger infants
4. Takes time to listen and explain the conditions thoroughly
5. Charges reasonably
We do not usually judge anyone based on the first impression and strongly believe in giving the benefit of doubt. Our encounters with the similar few pediatricians over the months have gathered the following observations and prompted us to search further:
~ One told me that breastmilk no longer benefits my baby after six months and went on to recommend several formula brands to me.
~ One prescribed 4 different types of oral medications when Ewan was down with a common flu. He was only six months old at that time.
~ One of them tugged Ewan’s earlobe so hard that he pushed away the microscope with his little hand. The paediatrician snapped at him for his “misbehaviour”. Poor Ewan was only 8 months old.
~ One was so popular that the wait usually takes a minimum of one hour even on a weekday. What’s more, although it’s a stand-alone clinic, the consultation fees are as high as those paediatricians stationed in hospitals. To us, RM40 – RM60 for consultation (without medications) seem reasonable.
During the recent episode of high fever and viral infection, Ewan was admitted into the hospital under the care of Dr Ling Shih Gang from Tropicana Medical Centre. He came recommended by a mommy friend.
Our first encounter with Dr Ling occurred when Ewan was due for his MMRV vaccinations and we wanted to try out another pediatrician. A new hospital, TMC’s facilities are still in excellent condition. They have a playroom at the Children’s Centre for kids to explore while waiting for their turn.
Here’s a summary of my observation:
Duration of Queue:
15 minutes on weekdays
Friendliness of Nurses:
My call for an appointment was handled tactfully and quickly. The nurses stationed at the main counter were friendly. When Ewan came down with a high fever of 39’c, he was quickly attended to and gently sponged down by a motherly nurse.
Friendliness of Doctor:
With all due respect, Dr Ling doesn’t look like the typical paediatrician I was expecting to see. He’s probably in late 30s, looks like an outgoing person and speaks
good Mandarin. His presence makes one feel comfortable and not intimidating at all.
Spends Time To Answer Questions?:
Yes, he does. I was worried that Ewan may come down with a fever if he were given the varicella jab as well. He took his time to explain that the risk of getting a fever is doubled if the 2-in-1 jab was chosen over two different jabs simultaneously. Additionally, when Ewan visited him the second time around with high fever, he examined him thoroughly before diagnosing him with throat infection. He also questioned me repeatedly on the symptoms monitored to ensure nothing was missed out and Ewan was diagnosed properly. This gave me assurance and confidence in his capabilities. He was easily available to answer phone calls too.
Yes. I shared my intention to wean Ewan off breasts due to my drastic weight loss from a strict no-egg, no-dairy diet. He gently advised me to continue breastfeeding until 2 years old if possible and that I should gradually reintroduce these forbidden foods into my diet.
RM60 – RM90 depending on the complexity of treatment.
On prescribing medicines, he practices giving as few medications as possible, quoting him “These medicines suppress the symptoms only but do not treat the underlying problem…”.
Throughout Ewan’s stay at the hospital which was a weekend, Dr Ling was there to check on him. On the day he was discharged, he surprised us by sculpturing a balloon sword for Ewan, on the spot. I was speechlessly impressed, thinking “Patch Adams” all the time. Reallly, it’s very rare to come across such passionate and genuine doctor these days, don’t you agree?
We are gladly sticking to Dr Ling for now.
Dr Ling Shih Gang
Tropicana Medical Centre (Level 1)
Tel.: 03 – 6287 1082
Mondays to Fridays (closed on weekends and public holidays) ~ he runs an evening clinic every Friday from 6pm to 8.30pm
P/S: No, Dr Ling did not pay me a single cent or buy me roti canai to write this. All the above remarks are solely based on my observation and opinion.