Dear Yang Amat Berhormat (YAB) Datuk Liow Tiong Lai,
I am sincerely sorry for my unwarranted outburst in my previous letter.
Your kind intentions have been severely misinterpreted.
I am utterly sorry if I appeared to belittle your credentials and leadership capabilities.
I can see now what an ignorant nincompoop I have been by accusing so very unjustly.
I realise now that you had far-sighted goals when you closed down our operation theatres and wards. In line with global medical education and training, you wanted the doctors in Sabah to be well-versed in acute care and emergency healthcare services.
Therefore, you abruptly but wisely witheld all non-emergency surgeries like colon cancers and enlarged prostates. You knew that one day these tumors would grow and spread and cause potentially irrversible severe systemic upset. That is the perfect time when we doctors will finally get the opportunity to provide acute care.
I am also apologetic for accusing the Minisry of deliberate feet-dragging in building a new general hospital for Sabah. In fact, I am losing sleep over my unfounded allegations that cronies of the state and federal government are reaping indecent profits from the current health crisis.
I should have known better. Malaysia is after all, not spared from the global economic turmoil. We should be more thrifty and save our funds and billions of ringgit for projects of greater public interest, like the national space program and the many buy-elections ahead.
Oh, how were you misunderstood! A thousand apologies from me!
I was also uninformed and ignorant of your noble mission to improve palliative services in Sabah and the country as a whole. Why should we doctors perform complicated and heroic surgeries trying to cure cancer and degenerative diseases? After all, there is a oft-repeated medical slogan that clinicians should ‘cure sometimes, relieve often and comfort always’. If only I had known that you were a staunch believer in palliative care, I would not have bombarded the Ministry with such contempt.
From now on, I will stop pleading the Ministry of Health for more operating theatres, recovery wards and medical staff trained in life-saving clinical work. I will instead persuade cancer patients against surgery and opt for palliative care instead. I will encourage my colleagues to do the same although I can’t guarantee that they will do the same. They are very stubborn and determined doctors, you see – not unlike me when I wrote my first letter to you.
Dear most honorable and esteemed Minister,
After today, I will based all my clinical judgement on bedside assessment instead of relying on x-rays, CT scans and various blood results. I realise now that you were only trying to make us into more astute clinicians when you seemingly neglected Sabah by not providing us a CT scan and various diagnostic lab tests.
Lastly, my most respected and magnanimous Health Minister, I apologise from the bottom of my heart and beg for pardon for my excessive sarcasm in this second letter.
I am after all, a product of the system.