Does anyone speak English at the Taman Desa Medical Centre?

Posted on August 28, 2013



I fractured my little toe on my right foot last Monday night when I kicked the elephant in the living room at home.

Ok, I exaggerate about the elephant, but I swear it felt like I had just kicked one.

Anyway, that’s not the focus of this post.

Yesterday, I made my way to Taman Desa Medical Centre (TDMC), hoping to have my right foot x-rayed to find out if there was indeed any fracture.


As it was my first time ever at TDMC, I headed straight to the registration counter.

SAMSUNGAnd that is when the nightmare began.

A lady who appeared to be in her late 30s was ushered to the registration counter to attend to me.

In English, I explained to her this was my first time at TDMC and that I had injured my foot the night before and wanted it x-rayed.

Did I want to see a specialist or a medical officer, she asked, in Malay?

In English, I explained again that I wanted my right foot x-rayed, after which, maybe TDMC might advise whether I needed to see the specialist or the medical officer.

She was adamant. Did I want to see the specialist or the medical officer now

By now I was getting irritated and it must have shown in my voice, because the officer sitting at the next cubicle immediately  offered to take me to radiology to register there and have my foot x-rayed.

SAMSUNGAt the X-Ray department, the nightmare continued.

The staff in attendance wanted to know why I wanted to register there

In English, I asked why patients were sent to the radiology department.

I half suspect my query was not quite understood, as, again, I was asked why I was there to register at radiology.

By this time, I had had enough.

I left, headed to PJ, went to an old hospital that did not have a problem with the English language or registering patients, had the x-ray done, and a doctor to later confirm that the toe was fractured.

Posted in: Digressions