Monday, May 31, 2010

Looking for Dr Right (aka Will Someone Please Direct Me To A Paediatrician In Penang!?)

It was Baby O's jab time a couple of weeks back (Yes, I've been meaning to put this post & a few others up since then but things have kept me from doing so). Since we are new in the area, we had some homework to do as to where to bring Baby O for her immunisations as well as health concerns. We were recommended a paediatrician at Island Hospital but we would prefer a clinic-based paediatrician and one near our house. I only managed to find ONE review online on a paediatrician located on Jalan Masjid Negeri. This is when I find the internet listings in the UK really useful. One click and you can locate everything! Everything and everyone is listed, given ratings, with clear maps, etc. Back here, they don't even have a list of clinics in Penang!

Anyway, we thought we would check out this clinic on Jalan Masjid Negeri since it is not too far from us. We were headed there but didn't have the details of the clinic and Jalan Masjid Negeri is a long road so we detoured back to Klinik Aman instead......

Klinik Aman - A Qualitas Clinic
11 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11700 Gelugor, Penang
Tel: 04-8281644   
Fax: 04-2287540
A branch of the Qualitas clinics just a stone's throw from where we currently live. A glance on the clinic glass screen and it says immunisations offered. So we parked the car, unbuckled Baby O from her car seat and went in. Checked with the receptionist and he says that they don't stock the MMR vaccine and will have to order it in. We then asked if he could recommend us another clinic where he directed us to a Klinik Bersalin (maternity clinic) a few hundred metres down the road. Off we go...

Klinik Kesihatan Ibu dan Kanak-kanak Taman Tun Sardon
Gelugor, 11700 Penang
Tel: 04-6571592

As we turned out, we saw a sign pointing to a Klinik Kesihatan Ibu dan Kanak-kanak Taman Tun Sardon. We thought that since it was only a routine MMR vaccination, we didn't really mind getting it from a public health centre and then consult a paediatrician on all other matters later when we manage to source one. Well, the clinic is located on the ground floor of some flats. Hmm... And unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) it was closed on a Saturday. Back to the Klinik Bersalin.

Penawar Klinik Dewan Bersalin Muslimah
345-1, Bangunan Kelab Gelugor, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11700 Gelugor, Penang
Tel/Fax: 04-6571166
This clinic and maternity ward is located in a 3 or 4 storey building. You have to take a lift to the first floor where the clinic is. The whole set up is really old and it feels a little dodgy upon entering the lift and then the clinic. We asked if they offered the MMR vaccination - yes, priced at RM120. Is the doctor a paediatrician as I have some questions to ask? Nurse confidently replied that although the doctor is not a paediatrician, she will know the answers as she does all immunisations for babies delivered there as a follow-up service. She also attends courses etc. bla bla bla... Ok, we... will.. hmm.. give her a try since it is only a jab. The doctor was pleasant but after going through some of my questions, she blatantly said that she is not a paediatrician and doesn't know the answer to some of my questions. She is also not too familiar with the immunisation schedule since Baby O received half of her vaccines in the UK. She suggested that we try the Hope Clinic instead to consult a paediatrician. Ok, thanks Miss Nurse. As we were waiting for the lift, the nurse had the cheek to run after us to ask for RM10 consultation fee! What?!?

Tropicana Fertility, Women and Children's Medical Centre (formerly known as Srigim Women's Children's Hospital)
12-A, Jalan Masjid Negeri, 11600 Penang
Tel: 04-8299188
Fax: 04-8286118
Back into the car. Might as well try to locate this clinic on Jalan Masjid Negeri. At the brink of calling it quits, we spotted the Tropicana Fertility, Women and CHILDREN's Medical Centre. The word 'children' prompted us to think that this is a sure winner. Parked the car again, unbuckled Baby O for the umpteenth time and said hello to the receptionist. We were quickly let down when the receptionist told us that there are no paediatricians stationed there at the moment although the house doctor is able to administer vaccinations. Speechless. Then, some well dressed probably PR guy handed us the mobile number of a children's clinic supposedly located back up the road and very kindly gave us clear directions. Baby O is by now no doubt bored of the going in and out of car/ clinic game that her parents are playing.

SIM Children and Child Heart Clinic
36 Jalan Masjid Negeri, 11600 Penang
Tel: 04-6584058
Fax: 04-6554058
Emergency case call: 012-4903312
Monday to Saturday: 9.30am - 1.30pm; 2.30pm - 7.00pm
Sunday: 9.30am - 2.00pm
Public Holiday: Close
Last call. If we can't get this one right, we're going home. Or for a plate of char kway teow.

As we arrived, the converted bungalow unit looks more than decent from the outside with bright glass screen decorations. A 'tagline' projects prominently on the first floor - WE TREAT YOUR CHILD LIKE OURS.

Inside, bright colours are everywhere! A funky aquarium divides the reception and the waiting area. This is where Baby O signed 'fish' on her own for the first time without being prompted! Just when I was doubting the effectiveness of baby signing... ;-) Well, done girl!

While waiting, Baby O was having fun with the toy cars downstairs and admiring the little smiley faces on the wall.

 And there is more upstairs!
The children and parent's activity area has tonnes of toys including a swing and slide! Maybe they should call this Sim Children Wonderland! There is also a breastfeeding room indicating that this is a breastfeeding friendly clinic.

Dr Sim was friendly and comes across as someone who knows his stuff as he was able to reassure us on the immunisation schedule and answer my questions with sound advice. He is not someone who will prescribe medications unnecessarily. The team of staffs are friendly too.

The bill came up to a reasonable RM88.50 -> RM35.00 consultation fee and RM53.50 for the MMR vaccination as well as paracetamol syrup in case Baby O develops a fever. The meds came in a free eco-friendly reusable medicine bag! Great, a green doc!

However, as with all popular clinics, be prepared to wait if you don't have a prior appointment. We were there for a total of about 2 hours before leaving the clinic! Well, maybe you can bring your own tea and sit in the garden while waiting for your turn!

Can't believe we had to go to five different locations before we could get Baby O her jab. After over three hours, some kilometres and a cry later, we thank God that we ended up somewhere where we felt safe, clean and comfortable with a doc and his staffs who care for their little patients.


  1. I can't believe the amount of trouble you had to go through for it :) At least you found the perfect place in the end... That clinic does sound too good to be true..:)

  2. Really no joke. I couldn't believe it myself! Thankfully all ended well...

  3. poor mommy and baby had to go thru such a terrible day in a new place ! luckily it ended well :) next time, call me la.. i can call up my penang colleague to recommend, i used to sell vaccines, remember ?..hehe..

  4. Thanks for sharing this useful information regards.
    Consult Paediatrician Online


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