Can elitist surgeons change their ways?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 March, 2002, 12:00am

Having lived in Hong Kong for a number of years, I have periodically experienced the attitude of doctors and surgeons within both the public and private medical sectors.

I am bewildered by the fact that a large proportion of medical practitioners do not consider patients' emotional needs while treating them.

Surgeons on their hospital rounds in the wards quickly examine the patient's files, give the nurses instructions and show intolerance to any question asked by the patient.

Commenting on the progress being made and any kind words of encouragement are regarded as unimportant and not relevant to the patient's healing development.

Similarly, private consultations at clinics are a hurried process. You often find doctors reacting with impatience if you seek more detailed information about your condition. They feel as if you are wasting their time. It is a well-documented fact that the more information and support a patient receives, the better he is able to cope with his condition.

Any surgeon or doctor who displays an attitude that relies only on the physical needs of a patient is at fault.

Such an approach illustrates a failure to recognise the importance of whole mind, body and soul healing. This often results in a patient feeling insecure and depressed, not really knowing what the future holds in a medical context.

Has Hong Kong's medical system created a club-like elitist arrogance, or are we now willing to embrace new trends in patient care and management?