I posted this to a mailing list for foreigners living at Lotus Hill, and someone suggested I post it here too. So, here is my sad tale/warning with minor edits…
We’ve been going through a pretty rough few weeks, ever since our four-year old was admitted to the ICU and had emergency surgery for pneumococcal pneumonia.
She had been immunized against this with the Prevnar vaccine in the US. However, the strain (capsular serotype) that she came down with was not covered by Prevnar. It turns out that the strains here are different, 75% antibiotic resistant, and more prone to causing necrotizing pneumonia (where the lung tissue starts to die) than what’s around in the US.
So parents, make sure your kids get additional vaccinations here. Pneumococcal pneumonia can lead to meningitis, otitis, sepsis, and also death.
BTW, we saw numerous doctors (private practitioners in their own clinics) prior to admission, all of whom completely misdiagnosed the condition. This includes many of the doctors recommended on this (Lotus Hill) list. The problem is that the practice here of maximizing income by seeing as many patients as possible in a day means that examinations are superficial to the extreme. OK if it’s just a cough or cold, potentially fatal as in our little girl’s case. We’ve learnt our lesson, no more income maximizing private practitioners for us.
Our daughter is now at the Tri Service General Hospital in Neihu. We’ve found that all the doctors and nurses (at least in the ICU and ER) do speak English to a great degree. In fact, we saw them reading English papers (because it is a teaching hospital, which means the staff are current). It is clean, if a bit spartan, but certainly of the same level as a decent hospital in Singapore or the US.