last nite, as i made my last round in the ICU, one of the nurses asked me if i could help insert an intravenous cannula for a patient who was not under my care. she had tried but failed in several attempts. as i checked on the patient's arms, there were several puncture wounds on both hands, evidence of the many unsuccessful attempts. even the patient looked fed-up & asked if the procedure could be deferred. being in ICU meant one was critically ill & hence an intravenous cannula was indispensable for the administration of essential medication.
after i managed to insert one, the patient asked sheepishly if i was going to charge him a fee for it. i returned an equally sheepish smile.
i know the public is generally wary of doctors in private practice with regards to the perceived exorbitant fees that they charge. i admit there are some black sheep in the profession. indeed, there's even a private hospital in ipoh infamously dubbed the great white shark.
so i wonder if the sheepish smile i gave the patient looked anything like this....