That madness called UP Health Service

My enrolment (spec.medical exam) process went crazy. A perfect example of a chaotic and disorganized work flow is the UP health Service. I’m an incoming freshman in UP Manila, and part of the process for enrolment is to undergo physical exam at the UP Health Service. It was crazy.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not intend to embarrass any person (because I know those two ladies did their best), or institution. I just want to highlight the flaw in the process with a goal to correct and them. Well, partly because I’ll have to undergo this process again and again until graduation. So better correct it now.

So ito ang nangyari.

Last week, I went to UP health service for physical exam as part of the enrolment requirements. Expectedly, there was a very long queue to the counter since enrolment. i need to fall in line in order to ask. Upon reaching the counter, I asked the nurses what are the requirements for the Physical Exam. There, they explained I need a chest x-ray, then a dental certificate validated in the UP Dentistry etc. I asked if there are forms I need to get from them or whatever for any of the process, wala naman na daw.

I went to PGH Radiology Dept to have my x-ray taken. The in charge asked me for my request for x-ray — what?. He said, I need a request for x-ray from the health service in order to have my x-ray taken.

I went back to the health service, fell in line for 20 mins or so, and asked for a request for x-ray form, as advised by the Rad dept. And tadaa— the x-ray form magically appeared. Meron pala. All the while they knew I would be needing that. Long story short, went to rad tech (again) and got my x-ray taken. Strike one.

Since TAT for x-ray results is three days Monday na ulit ako nakapagproces. Monday, the following week, early in the morning, I went back to the health service to submit my x-ray results and dental certificate. Of course, there were long queues. I patiently waited for about an hour, and upon reaching the counter I was advised to go to back by 3:00 PM for my PE.

I went back at 3:00 PM.

Fell in line.

Reached the counter.

Advised to go back the next day.

Told their cut-off was 3:00 pm.


Strike 2.

Wednesday. Because of work, this would be my last day to process my PE. I went at exactly 8 am, submitting myself again for PE. The lady advised me to go the line outside since that was the line for those who has to undergo PE. That was, again, a very looong line.

While on the line, I was observing what is happening in the counter. Maraming estudyante ang pumupunta ng counter para mag tanong. Agit na si ate. Agit na din ang student. Ngiti na ulit sa ate. Good mood na ulit. Madami na ulit, estudyante. Paulit ulit ang tinatanong. Nag announce si ate. On top of her voice. Kung ano ano man yun. Processo daw. Validation dito, PE dun, x-ray. Something. Something. Humupa. Tanong. Tanong. Nag announce ulit.

It took me an hour or more to reach the counter. At 9 am, I finally reached the counter. Then, that same lady, got my form wrote the date, and said “Sir, balik kayo ng 1PM ha, dami kasing patiente. Walang mag a-accomodate.”


I told her, ‘Ms. pangalawang beses ko na to bumalik.’ She just smirked and said, ‘Ang dami daming patiente sir oh, di kaya ng nurse namin. Balik ka na lang. Balik ka na lang ng mejo maaga.’

That one hour of patiently waiting. She just smirked. Strike 3.

Went back at 12:15 to confirm if I can get PE, ‘do they have nurses/ doctors to check’; If pipila ba ako may mangyayari. Sabi niya, sir 1PM pa po, upo ka muna jan. I told her I no longer have time bla bla, is there a faster way of doing this. “Punta kayo ng FMAB, dun kayo mag pa PE, para hindi na namin i-validate. Pag dating niyo dito, bibigay niyo lang ang form. Di na kayo pipila.”

My world crumbled.

All the while, there was that shortcut. Strike 4.

I went to FMAB, read the instructions on the door, looked for Ms. Cheska, submitted my form. Ms. Cheska, smilingly, took my form, piled it in her queue, advised to go back at around 1pm because the doctor had lunch(it was 12:30 ish by that time).  After 30 mins or so, my name was called. Doctor interviewed me, got my PE slip. (Very organized, love it!) Went back to HS, gave my PE slip.

(Sample of a flow chart at FMAB)

To the UP Health Service, I commend and thank you esp the two ladies for doing their jobs in assisting the student get their PE, but I think there is something wrong with your work flow and the process in your office. Your process crumbles when faced with too many demands (students).For the next enrolment season, may I suggest the following:

  1. PRINT AND POST WORKFLOW. Many times, pa-ulit ulit lang ang mga tanong ng mga estudyante, ano ang process ano ang requirements, saan pupunta bla bla. I think makakatulong na mag paskil kayo ng instructions sa labas para di na masikip sa loob at naiistorbo pa kayo sa ginagawa niyo para sa mga basic na tanong ng estudyante kung ano ang gagawin. Inform the public what to do.
  2.  INFO DESK. Assign one person, or get student assistant, or tap student council to man an info desk. Again, nakakagulo kasi at nawawala kayo sa focus niyo kung may mga students na nag tatanong kung ano ang gagawin, ano ang requirements, kaya di niyo ma asikaso ng maayos ang pag vavalidate or pag PE. Humahaba ang pila for that.  And usually, sa sobrang gulo na ng iniisip niyo, mali mali na ang instructions na nabibigay niyo, or kulang kulang (based on personal experience) So may I suggest may seperate counter kayo, or info desk para doon na lang pumunta ang mga estudyante. Majority ng crowd dun and cause the confusion ay yung walang proper info  ano ang gagawin. This will also reduce your stressors, and stress ng students para wala ng sigawan o awayan na magaganap.Pwede naman kayo mag tap ng students or someone para lang may clear na mag instruct sa students. You don’t need licensed professionals just to instruct the students what to do.
  3. Make the forms readily available. Isa din sa napansin ko, yung forms na kailangan, kayo lang din may hawak sa counter. So yung mga estudyante na yun lang talaga ang pakay, kailangan pa kayong guluhin o pumila para makahingi lang ng form. Pwede namang hindi. Lagay niyo na lang somewhere para dun na lang kunin, or sa info desk, siya na lang din ang mag bigay ng mga forms kung may kailangan.
  4. Number system. Pwede ding mag bigay na ng number. Print lang or sulat ng number para di kailangan tumambay dun para lang mag pila. Para pwede din kaming maging productive sa buhay namin at hindi lang nakaupo dun. Nakakabagot and counter productive. Bawas tao, gulo at sikip pa sa maliit na room dun.  Kung mahaba na ang pila o sobrang dami na, na sa tingin niyo di niyo na ma-accomodate lahat mag lagay ng cut-off sa number. Para hindi na mag pila para sa wala ang iba. Masakit po umasa para sa wala.
  5. Third party/ observer. Minsan kasi, dahil sa napakaroutine na ng ginagawa natin, akala natin okay na to. Wala ng mababago, maayos na yan, push lang. Makakatulong paminsan minsan na may isang tao muna na bibitaw sa ginagawa niya para tignan lang ang processo ng trabaho niyo at alamin kung saang part pwede maayos, para organize. A third person perspective to look at everything on a different point of view. It really helps.

To the health service, like everywhere, organized process or workflow is important. Maliit na bagay (akala niyo lang), pero mahalaga. Para hindi tayo pagod. Happy kayo, happy ang estudyante, everybody happy! Salamat. 🙂

Because one thing I learned in UP, to be progressive, you don’t just complain, whine and then expect things to change, you propose a solution. So here’s my suggestion. Hope it helps. #ParaSaBayan.

P.S. For the first time in forever, my blood pressure shoot up to 140/90. So yes, it will be forever in my UP health record, “suspect hypertension”, for monitoring. Huhu.



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