I'M A DOCTOR SO I KNOW!
Okay, so you might be wondering what the title of this blog post is all about. It's actually a statement uttered to me by an employee at a government agency where I transacted a claim this morning. I didn't know how to react after I heard him say it. That was after I returned my papers to him to reevaluate because he did not approve my application for reimbursement because he said I lack a document.
Let's rewind the story a bit. I went to the same government agency last week to submit my medical documents and I was advised to return back after a week. Apparently, that is how long it would take for them to evaluate a stack of documents that has six (6) pages in all. I did not complain and in fact, I did not voice out my concern. I complied and returned today. I sat down in front of the documents receiver and she informed me that my medical documents were declined because I lack one important document. She said I needed to submit a dilation & curettage procedure report. I told her that I did not undergo the procedure and my medical certificate specifically noted that. She asked me to go to a certain cubicle and present my documents again to the doctor.
I entered the doctor's cubicle and I submitted my papers to his desk and asked why my papers were not approved in a very polite and inquiring way. He briefly scanned the documents and told me that he needed to see the D& C report. I told him that I could not pass the document because I did not undergo said procedure as my miscarriage was considered to be a complete non-induced abortion. He looked at me and said, "I'm a doctor so I know." I did not know how to react. I didn't think it was necessary for him to shove to my face that he was a doctor. If he knew, why would he disapprove my application in the first place? Did he even scan all the documents I attached including the medical certificate signed by my OB-Gyne noting that I did not undergo the D&C procedure because it was not needed for my case? I actually thought the 7 days wait time for them to process my papers was too long already. I thought they would use that time to check the authenticity of the documents by calling the hospital. He further scanned my documents for a couple of minutes noting the date of my first ultrasound confirming the pregnancy and the last ultrasound noting that there was no sign of pregnancy anymore. It took him 2 minutes or 3 minutes tops. He approved my papers in front of me.
Can somebody remind me again why is there a need to wait for 7 days, when in fact, he can simply scan my papers and approve it in under 5 minutes?
Anyway, I didn't respond negatively to him. I just needed my documents signed so I can go to the next step. The next step is another story and I will wait until I finish the whole process before I share my entire SSS reimbursement experience. This situation reminds me of the fact why I hate transacting with government agencies/institutions. They always find a way to make you feel like you deserve all the wait time and all the hassle. Apparently, our government agencies are a pro at providing this level of service.
After the SSS transaction, I walked about 3 blocks away and went inside the Pag-Ibig/HDMF office and I was shocked at how many people were inside. There were no less than 300 people if I'm not mistaken. I lined up to speak with one of the front liners and there were around 50 people in front of me. I was too tired and too hungry when it was my turn already so I only managed to request for the forms I needed to accomplish so I continue being a voluntary member and decided to just come back another day.
I guess I'll use a few days to think if I really need to continue being a member or just forget that this government agency ever exists. Or maybe I'll use a few days teaching myself to be extra patient because after all, I live in a 3rd world country where automation of transactions so citizens can enjoy the benefit of advanced technology, is not a primary consideration. I hope and pray that the national ID system will be implemented and that paperless transactions will be the norm soon.
Have you experienced situations like this in other government agencies?
PHOTO CREDIT: Stocksnap
PHOTO CREDIT: Stocksnap