Thursday, 13 July 2017

A clinic for the masses

Tucked in an obscure corner of the UTC Kotaraya complex in central Johor Bahru is the government health clinic known as Klinik 1Malaysia. It offers both medical and dental services at a nominal price.

Earlier this month I made my first visit. At the registration counter for dental services, I handed over my MyKad and was asked to fill up a form. The nurse then keyed in my data into the system. While doing so, she asked me a few questions.

"Have you been here before, sir?"

No. My first visit.

"May I know your occupation?"

Retired.

"Do you have a pensioner card?"

No. I work in the private sector.

She returned my identity card, gave me a queue number and asked me to wait until my number is called. There were not that many people in the waiting lounge, maybe six or seven, I can't recall now. The lounge itself is bright and clean. There is a television on, tuned to the Suria Channel of Singapore. The TV reception is quite good and I assume that is why it's tuned to a neighbouring country's programme. Unless you are subscribed to Astro, the reception of local stations using normal antenna can be quite dismal. Except for the stiff and uncomfortable metal seats, the overall waiting experience was generally bearable.

The duration of the wait, under different circumstances, I would call as exceedingly long. But then you have to remember that this is a government clinic. Waiting for one to two hours is normal. Furthermore, I was a walk-in patient. No appointment needed like most private dentists.

When my number finally flashed on the screen, I walked into Treatment Room 8 where I was greeted by a smiling young male doctor. He asked me a few questions and then told me to sit on the dentist's chair. The chair and other equipment in the room looked as modern as can be.

After performing the descaling process on my teeth, the doctor pronounced that all my white chompers are in good condition. He praised me for taking good care of them. Wow... no other dentists have never praised me before.

Of course I walked out of the clinic with a big smile on my face. And I paid only RM3 for the whole treatment (RM1 to register plus RM2 for the scaling work).

Convenient and inexpensive. A very good government initiative.