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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:07 am 
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A friend recently was asking me if I thought her son had measles (I was a nurse back home). When I quizzed her the son had many symptoms of measles but the (usually) characteristic fever spike.

I asked if she had been to the doctor, and she had taken her son to the Lamma clinic where the doctor told her the boy DID NOT have measles. I reassured her that the public health system in HK is very good and that if the doctor (who must certainly be well versed in this type of diagnoses and had likely seen dozens of cases of measles in his career) said it was not measles then it must not be measles. HK is very paranoid about public health issues and certainly the doctor is well trained to recognize measles.

The day after we spoke they went to a private doctor HK side where who immediately identified measles.

I am now aware that there are at least 3-4 cases of measles on Lamma Island.

How can it be that it was misdiagnosed? Coming from a health care professional viewpoint I have seen a few issues with HK healthcare, but until now I thought it was quite good. Now I am really concerned.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 6:31 am 
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I'd like to make two points here.

First, does measles have to be reported to the govt health dept? In which case the doctor on Lamma should receive notification, and if not, has anyone informed the doctor here about the fact that there are several cases (I ask this cos I thought measles was rather uncommon these days with immunisation, but may be wrong)

Second, my own child was diagnosed with rubella - German measles - by a private doctor, and two years later was also diagnosed with it again at the same practice. The second doctor said the first diagnosis must have been wrong. Said child certainly had the same symptoms but we are supposed to get immunity from it.

So they are not infallible. That said, it is certainly worrying that our own guy was unable to identify a relatively well known disease, especially if the parent asked if it was measles.

And its good to know there are cases to be aware of for those families whose children may be at risk.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 10:33 am 
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In a measles outbreak about 20% of those who catch measles have been vaccinated. those individuals will have a more mild and shorter course of disease, so vaccination is still very important.

I believe that measles must be reported. My understanding is that the school has notified parents of measles being present in the school. Which makes it even more concerning the doctor did not recognize measles when he should have been being extra vigilant for it.

Having had Rubella, or chicken pox, or several other supposedly '1x' diseases does not confer 100% immunity. The great majority of patients that have had these diseases never get them again, the few who do get them 2x will, almost always (99+%) have a milder and shorter course of disease.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:35 pm 
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The doctor in the clinic here is a disgrace. Not only can he barely speak Cantonese or English - he speaks some obscure mainland dialect and I guess his background was one of Mao's "barefoot doctors", he seems only able to hand out handfuls of pills for every ailment. One friend of mine who took his son there as he had been vomiting continuously for 3 days, he told him to cook his food properly!

It's incredible that the government thinks it's necessary to spend millions of dollars on a spanking brand-new overstaffed police station and yet we have a clinic built 61 years ago which is poorly staffed and ill-equipped to deal with any real emergency. Yet the government spends about $40,000 per helicopter trip of which there are at least 10 per week. What we need is a new, properly-equiped clinic with full-time bi-lingual doctor with geriatric and paediatric experience.


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:07 pm 
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Couldn't agree with you more Dory, well said.

I have pretty much given up going to the clinic with my kids on Lamma unless it is absolutely necessary, the doctor is hopeless, doesn't (can't?) listen but is happy to hand out an armful of medicine. As bad as it may seem, I am better off self diagnosing with internet research and just going to the clinic to get the pharmaceuticals. A bad indictment on the health system if it gets that bad.

On one occasion it worked out better to wait until after hours go to the clinic to just speak to the nurse, who called the HK Island hospital doctor who spoke great English, discuss the symptoms and get the right medication that way.

Frustrating.....


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Hi I have always meant to post a warning and wasn't sure where but this thread seems to be likeminded:

When I was pregnant, I had terrible back pain and I went to the clinic and the doctor just gave me some cream and insisted it was muscle pain even though I tried to explain that I didn't think so. In fact, it wasn't simply back pain--it was a symptom of something very seriously wrong and I'm quite lucky that my baby was not stillborn as a result. I only learned what was really wrong when I gave birth as it became evident then, but the extreme back pain was one early indication.

So if you are pregnant and have some possibly-related health issue, I strongly recommend that you skip the local clinic altogether and try to be seen at one of the Maternal Child Health Care centers like Sai Ying Pun instead. They will do a much better job of listening and taking you seriously. I should have done this but did not know as I hadn't lived here long and wasn't so familiar with the health care system.


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