Penang clinic and hospital experience – concluded

At the end of March, about five weeks ago now, I discovered a minor medical problem, and visited a clinic and two hospitals for consultation – as described in a previous blog.

Briefly, the clinic I visited first gave me some (all-natural, no-drug) pills and said the problem would go away by itself.  Then I visited a specialist at the local hospital who insisted an operation was the only possible solution – and that I should check into the hospital immediately, stay overnight, and be operated on with a general anaesthetic at 6AM the next morning.  After another night in the hospital I could go home. He gave me the same kind of pills, too.  I declined the operation, and visited a specialist in another hospital the next morning for a third opinion. This doctor said that surgery was unnecessary, and even  if it were, there were various alternatives apart from the knife. And he gave me the same kind of pills as the other two doctors.  The problem would go away by itself.  What I read on the Internet was inconclusive, so I needed the consultations to make my decision.

And as it has turned out, the problem did go away by itself.  In a little over a month.  So, be wary…


  1. Overservicing medical care is a problem throughout the world but from what I saw in Penang it is very bad indeed. Once they see you have comprehensive insurance then it is hard to leave the bloody hospital. I was hospitalised in Island Hospital (in a super deluxe room) for an earache. An earache!! Stayed 2 nights and then I just told them I was leaving. Doctor of course wanted me to stay another night. Glad you dodged the surgery, it really makes you wonder.

    1. Hospitalised for an earache? Amazing.

      Gleneagles, where the doctor insisted surgery was the only solution for me, have just built new facilities, so perhaps there is pressure on staff to increase income.

      While I have heard bad reports about the medical establishment all my life, and have not visited doctors so often, when I have seen doctors – general practioners – they have been very reasonable and followed the Hippocratic Oath. In every country I have lived in. They were polite, helpful, and didn’t try to force drugs on me – but if I really wanted some pharmaceutical they would give it to me – but I didn’t generally want medicines.

      I read yesterday somewhere that allopathic medicine is the third biggest cause of death in the US. And some of this is patients dying from drugs correctly prescribed.

      But after this experience I am both grateful of the doctors who gave me the correct prognosis and warier than before.

      1. I live in the states now and can confirm that doctors are little more than shills for the pharma industry. Mental health doctors are the worst, they give drugs away like candy.

      2. I’ve heard that about the US, Peter. I also heard that Big Pharma founded and funds the medical schools, so the doctors’ training would be influenced by this. Plus the doctors are possibly greatly indebted with student fees by the time that they start earning, so they are not really in a position to rock the boat. I sympathise.

        I asked my insurance agent, who knows a lot of doctors, to get one to write me a note for an exemption to something one particular government imposes on travellers, as it is bad for one’s health. I also asked a few doctors I know myself. All were too scared of a foreign government to do so. I guess they worked so hard and spent so much time and money to get a government approved licence that almost all will not risk losing it. And they see what happens to doctors who do rock the boat, which can be much more than just losing their licence.

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