Friday, November 22, 2013

Three days in Turabah: Thursday, 14th November to Saturday, 16th November, 2013

These substitute duties are the biggest problem when one is working as a specialist doctor in the Kingdom. The reason is that the Ministry appoints the bare minimum required doctors in their region, and sometimes, matters become so difficult for them that even THAT is not possible as they are unable to find enough specialists to fill up the vacancies. Add to this the fact that most doctors in peripheral areas work for 3-5 years and then exit (unless they are Arabs, who tend to stay for more years), the fact that every doctor goes for their annual holidays for 45-60 days, and the fact that core specialities MUST have attending doctors - it is easy to see why we are asked to go to other places to cover for other doctors. 

Arriving in Turabah

This chart explains the Arabic alphabet

A road corner installation with the word "Turabah"

A roundabout with a huge installation

A new kind of service introduced by the Ministry recently
Just outside the ,main gate of the OPD

Another aspect of the floral bed outside the OPD

Turabah is about 220 km from Al Muwayh, and is a medium-sized village with over 20000 residents. However, their general hospital is much the same as my own in Al Muwayh. The patient load is greater and they have a more busy ER and OPD as well. It was my colleague's turn to go for substitution duty this time, as I had done the last one in Missan a few months ago. However, he requested me to go, and so I agreed. One of our drivers, a genial guy by the name of "Bandar" took me to Turabah on Thursday morning. The doctor I would be relieving for a few days is Dr. Mahmoud, an Egyptian Pediatrician. He wished to go to Makkah for Umrah in addition to other work, and he was currently alone as his colleague has gone for vacation too.

The work over the next approximately three days was not very hectic. There were a few new-born calls and less than 10 ER calls. A very relaxed atmosphere prevailed. The room I was given was well-appointed, but had a peculiar problem of running out of water each evening and through the night. I was able to partially rectify the situation on the second night, but otherwise, I had to leave the room and go to a bathroom inside the hospital to, well, er ...

The staff nurses here were amicable, but I spent too short a time to really know them; the one thing I did observe was that there are nearly 15-18 Indian nurses here. The doctors were mostly Egyptian, but I heard they had one Indian specialist looking after the dialysis unit. The hospital here has a functioning level II nursery and CT scan in addition to the dialysis unit - all these three are absent at Al Muwayh, though we do have the equipment to start a level II nursery (we just don't have the nursing manpower) ... and the CT scanner is due in the next few months, inshallah. (As Al Muwayh is located on the main Riyadh highway, we get a lot of cases of vehicular accidents, and a CT scan is imperative in most such patients. They have already started the creation of the CT scan department by breaking down two adjacent rooms in the male word.)

Turabah relieved me when Dr. Mahmoud returned on Sunday afternoon and I was back at Al Muwayh by the early evening.

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