I would like to thank a particular female doctor at the CHCC’s Family Care Clinic for sending my younger brother into a state of depression as a result of not clearing him to be referred to an eye specialist performing surgery in Guam. This eye specialist holds office in the U.S. mainland and only performs surgery several times a year in Guam. I am writing this as I see this so-called doctor’s decision not to act will have a profound effect on whether my brother’s eye issues become permanent.
My younger brother was born without an eardrum in one ear and a semi-functioning one in the other. As a teenager, he was lucky enough to receive surgery in which they restored his hearing in full on the side with no eardrum. As an adult he has lost full hearing in the semi-functioning one and the implant too is now wearing down to a point where we must literally shout to communicate.
Adding to his hearing problems is his gradual loss of vision this past year and a half. If my brother loses both his hearing and vision, then how can we communicate? We can’t teach him Braille as he can’t hear the instructions. We can’t teach him sign language as he won’t be able to see the fingers in front of him.
I guess I’m venting my frustration with this woman as It’s not like he hasn’t made the attempt to rectify his eye condition. The past year he has made several trips from Rota to Saipan to see the “government recommended” eye clinic. At one time the doctor at that clinic even lectured my brother about missing his appointment. That was when Medical Referral did not process his referral.
After missing his appointment twice due to the same referral issues, I recommended the Marianas Eye Institute as I too underwent retinal surgery in Guam from the same visiting doctor. During my stint in Guam for surgery, there was another Rota patient from the “government recommended” clinic. He, too, had difficulty getting to the promised land, like my brother. At the very end, we both walked in for surgery and only one of us walked out with his eyesight restored; the other went permanently blind.
People from Rota, please heed my caution that the Marianas Eye Institute is the “best” at the referral process and accept no other. Marianas Eye followed through on my referral papers from start to finish. Their staff are so good at following up that they border on being annoying. Til this very day, I still receive calls from them reminding me of follow up checkups.
I was right about it after all. Within a week of his initial check up with Marianas Eye, he was placed on the Pacific Retina Specialists list for surgery. This news made all of us jump out of our seats with joy. There was a chance that my brother could have his eyesight back, or so we thought.
By further examining this issue I came across more questions as followed:
• If she is so worried about his blood pressure, then why did she allow him to leave FCC? At times, Dr. Aldan has kept me back and refused to allow me to leave his clinic ’til my blood pressure stabilized. For this, I am truly grateful.
• Why did I not have any problems when I went through the process? The difference was that I had insurance and went to my primary physician at the Saipan Health Clinic while my brother’s choice is limited to FCC because he’s on Medicaid.
• Why did the other clinic take over a year? The “government recommended” clinic may have good doctors, but the support staff may be the lynchpin in this case.
• Could they be colluding as the government doctor disapproves the trip because it’s not coming from the “government recommended” clinic? I guess we’ll never know.
Thank you for allowing me to share my disappointment.
Annex F, Rota