I had wanted to write about this ever since we came back from Korea, but too many events got in between, hence I only have the chance to write about it now.
As mentioned, little man developed some serious rash on the second day of our trip and on the sixth day, I decided to bring him to a pediatrician.
It was not an easy decision as we heard from some sources that usually Koreans will go to the hospital rather than the clinics. We felt uneasy just thinking about the hospital. There were many concerns and language barrier is a major part of it. We worried about miscommunications and misdiagnosis, hence I seek advice from my airbnb host. She told us that there are not any pediatricians nearby our apartment, and suggested for us to visit the clinic in the same building, offering to go with us. I had to decline her offer as I am still more comfortable with going to a pediatrician.
Hubby was rather reluctant initially. He felt that little man’s rashes although not getting better, were not getting worse either. But it gives me a heavy heart to see little man so uncomfortable every day. On top of that, there is this nagging feeling that it could be more than just the usual rash. It looked so red and angry and so possiblly full of pus. Hence, that night, I went online to see if I could find a recommended pediatrician in Seoul. Thank God for the internet, I found a forum for foriegners in Korea and there is this conversation about this particular pediatrician, Dr Kim. I gave him a quick search and found more information about him from this site. You cannot imagine how thankful I am.
We took a cab, tried to communicate to the cab driver who cannot speak English, and managed to make our way to the Richensia Tower. There are two towers. We went to the wrong one which makes up of apartments. Luckily, a sloppily-dressed uncle who spoke excellent English helped us to get our way to the right tower. He must be a resident at the tower. I was so impressed by his English, I reminded myself never again to judge someone by his attire. When we reached the clinic, it was not considered very full, given that it was a Friday afternoon. We probably waited for about 20 minutes before Dr Kim sees us.
Dr Kim is the only English-speaking person in his clinic. I called up the clinic that morning to make sure Dr Kim is in. After hearing that I only speak English, the receptionist passed the phone over to another person who spoke English. I believe that was Dr Kim who spoke to me.
Anyway, Dr Kim had a look at little man’s rash, checked his ears and temperature, and told us that it was a viral rash. He looked surprised when I told him I have been applying the steroid creams that was given to me by pediatricians in Singapore. He told me not to use any steroids on little man as the rashes will flare up and become worse, and to only apply emollient creams on him. He was also very surprised when I told him certain medication little man was taking for his running nose. He told us that these are pretty strong medication that usually will not be given to children here. But he also said that different countries have different regulations about medication. Little man was then given only antihistamine and some antibiotic cream (non-steroidal) just in case of any bacteria infection.
And guess how much I pay for this consultation?
20,000 won, which is about SGD$24.
The medication had to be purchased separately in the pharmacy, which is another unit in the building. That medication only cost us 10,420 won, which is about SGD$12.
I must say, I am pretty impressed by the whole experience.
Below are some photos that I have taken, in case anyone needs to bring their children to an English-speaking pediatrician.
If you happen to be there, you must go and try out this Japanese restaurant in the same building. It definitely picked me up with its excellent cuisine after a nerve-wrecking morning.
Okay, I digress.
I had to write about this because someone wrote about this clinic and helped me tremendously. I am so grateful. Hence I hope that one day, my post can help some parents too.
Dr Kim’s Clinic (I have no idea how to read the Korean words)
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 9-6pm. Closed 1-2pm for lunch. Saturday 9-4pm.
Address: #133-3 Wonhyoro1-ga, Yongsan-gu, Richensia Yongsan A-303, Seoul, 140-111
Phone: 02) 713-9340 Cell Phone: 010-2647-9340
There is this map which is very useful in helping us to get to the Richensia Tower. You can find it in one of the link in this post.