# Hospital Notice

I am unsure of what Forum to post this item in.

I saw this Notice posted in the Tri-Services General Hospital in Neihu. If anyone could provide a competent “re-writing” into understandable English, I will send it to the Head of the Hospital for his/her reference.

(If you know the way that the hospitals deal with registration matters here in Taiwan, you may be able to figure out what this means. If not, you will probably be totally baffled … but, as I stated above, I hope that some intelligent individual can do a competent re-write … ) Here it is:

[color=#FF0040][i]If your number has been called, the nurse will call the next one number before yours is due.

For example, if number 30 is up now and numbers 12, 18, and 9 have been called, the following sequence will be called: 31, 12, 32, 18, 33, 9.[/i][/color]

[quote=“Hartzell”]
[color=#FF0040][i]If your number has been called, the nurse will call the next one number before yours is due.

For example, if number 30 is up now and numbers 12, 18, and 9 have been called, the following sequence will be called: 31, 12, 32, 18, 33, 9.[/i][/color][/quote]

Hi Richard,
I can tell you what it means as I have discussed the pro’s and cons of this system a few times, god knows how to write it in english though.

Lets say I have made an appointment a couple of weeks ahead and was given the number 25, and since I have been to this doctor a few times before have worked out 25 is reached about 10.30am. (you can actually check on line) But when I get there my number has already been called. What happens?

In the example above the number now being called is 30, so we will go with that, and imagine I am the only one that came late (fat chance) the sequence would go 31, 25, 32, 33, 34, 35… … I get inserted after the next normal call.

However in reality, since everyone knows, it takes much less time to turn up late and get inserted next after waiting one person, its more like there is a queue of people of waiting to be inserted. In the example, 12, 18 and 9 are late comers and put their names down in that order, current calling number 30, hence the calling order 31, 12, 32, 18, 33, 9.

Good luck making a simple sentence of it.

Those arriving late must wait to take turns (in the order of their reporting to the duty nurse), alternating after each successive number currently being called, beginning after the number following the current one. For example, if #'s [color=#0000BF]11, 7 and 2[/color] arrive late and report to the duty nurse in that order, and #12 is the current number being called, the sequence will be called in this way: 12, 13, [color=#0040BF]11[/color], 14, [color=#0040BF]7[/color], 15, [color=#0040BF]2[/color], 16, 17, 18, etc.

Every other number called will be the number of a patient who missed their turn earlier. These patients will see the doctor in the order in which they informed the nurse of their presence in the waiting area.

I’d say something like, “Shut up, sit down, and wait until the nurse calls your stupid number.”

If I were in a bad mood I’d suggest something like “For your information, patient numbers are being called in a Fibonacci Series which means your number may never come up. For expedited service, kindly remit 100NT to the foreign gentleman sitting in the corner reading a magazine.”

and in that vein:

IF you arrive late, your number will be called according to a complex, ancient Chinese algorithm which you poor Westerners can never hope to understand. So sit down, shut up, and wait fer yer damned number to be called.

You’re late. You’re fucked. Sit down, shut up or fuck the fuck off. Nobody gives a shit.

“Ignore your number, walk straight into the room whether or not someone else is being seen, grab the doctor’s sleeve, and start loudly explaining your medical issues while seven nurses (who seem to have no other function) smile and wave their hands vaguely in an attempt to get you out. Wait two minutes. Repeat.”

[quote]If your number has been called, the nurse will call the next one number before yours is due.

For example, if number 30 is up now and numbers 12, 18, and 9 have been called, the following sequence will be called: 31, 12, 32, 18, 33, 9.[/quote]

Missed appointment numbers will be called again, alternating with continuing calls for regularly scheduled appointments, until all missed numbers have been made up.

(But I couldn’t have written that had I not had the experience of the system while still in Taiwan.)

I’m a regular visitor to Tri-Services in Neihu, and had a good laugh over those signs long before Hartzell posted them here.

Based on first-hand experience, I think the signs should be replaced with something like this:

[color=#BF0000]“If your number has already been called, please present yourself to the nurse. You will be seen at the next available opportunity.”[/color]

Over, and over, and over again I see late-comers simply walk into the examination room while the doctor is consulting with a patient, to present their paperwork to the attending administrative nurse. The doctors and nurses accept this, though I’m sure it depends on the type of care you are there for.

That ‘translation’ above best communicates to an English speaker how they should go about getting seen when they’ve arrived late. Circumstances will determine if you enter the examination room to present your paperwork, or wait for the next time the admin nurse emerges from the room. If one simply sits down and waits for their number to be called, they will sit and watch all the late-arriving Taiwanese see the doctor ahead of them - because they present themselves and do not wait passively.

Then again, maybe that is why someone screwed up the translation in the first place - they purposely want to mislead foreigners into waiting while everyone else gets seen!

My 2.

Tri-Services IS receptive to feedback about their signs. The fact that they all have English now (for department signs etc.) is due to a suggestion by yours truly, and they also responded positively, for a while at least, to my suggestion not to hang particularly gloomy paintings in the hallway leading to the psychiatric ward.

A missed number means you just push to the front of whatever queue is there.

Any hospital that has a Burger King inside it is all right in my book.

This is why I just go to my local pharmacy. The pharmacist can usually figure out the situation and sell me something. The cost is maybe marginally more than using the health insurance at the hospital, but saves me HOURS of waiting.

I went there the other week and forgot my book and watched for hours, fascinated and hypnotized, while the little bilingual notices about how soldiers have to pay up front and get their money back within a week if they forget their health cards whirred round and round.