Health Assessments in Penang > our "Golden Years"
At our ages, it becomes important to have a comprehensive medical/health check-up now and then; our last occasion for a full work-up was in 2009 when we had the work done in New York and Annapolis on our way sailing back southward on the East Coast of the USA.
In December 2012, when we were sailing north with the Sail Malaysia Rally, the organizers of the rally scheduled a “tour” of Loh Guan Lye Hospital Specialist Center (LGL) as one of our “events” while in Penang. It was a most impressive tour and hosting! LGL is one of a number of hospitals in South East Asia (SEA) that are building a practice that focuses on foreigners needs for comprehensive/specialized medical assessments and treatments. We knew when we were on the tour that we were suitably impressed and that one day we would be back to partake.
Last week, we flew to Penang from Langkawi on Tuesday afternoon and returned on Saturday afternoon, Nov 26th. We had arranged in advance for their “GOLDEN AGE PACKAGE” with a number of important optional assessments added on. Here was the experience in summary form:
· On arrival, we were met by our own dedicated “Customer Service” person, Sarah, who hand held us through all of the appointments and saw that any follow-on assessments/consultations were scheduled on a priority basis in real time. It was really quite unbelievable to experience how simple and effective and considerate a hospital, its failities and a load of specialist doctors could be. VERY IMPRESSIVE!....including access/use of their private "Wellness Lounge".
· We were fully occupied from 8:30 am til 6:00 pm on Wednesday, our first day; the 2nd day had us meet with some of the specialists that we could not fit in on day 1 for their follow-on assessments including the 4 MRIs for me (with required dye injections); the 3rd day had me finish up a couple of consults including assessment of the MRI results
· Our overall routine went like this (I have listed the procedures for both Cheryl and me rather than sorting them into Male/Female):
o Chest X-Ray
o Hearing Test
o Lab Work (urinalysis/blood and male female cancer markers>Cancer Profile as well as Rheumatoid Arthritis Factor)
o Ultrasound of upper and lower abdomen
o Dexa Scan > bone density
o Mammogram/Pap Smear
o Stress Test
o General Practitioner Physical Exam and Consultation….and … a comprehensive written medical report including a CD of all the Radiological diagnostic assessments
o Cardiologist Consultation
o Orthopedic Consultation (including knees/hips/back/shoulders assessments)
o Urologist Consultation
o Gynecologist Consultation
o Skin (skin cancer) Consultation
o Clinical Dietician Consultation including Body Mass Index/Body Fat Compostion
o Follow-on investigation/assessment: 4 MRIs for me>leg, sacral/lumbar spine, shoulder, hand)
o Prescriptions/dispensing of required medications
On our return flight late Saturday afternoon, Cheryl and I agreed that it had been a good idea to have had the assessments….and….that it is better to be “in the know” regarding all of the unique risks that we have by now amassed by the time we have reached these Golden Years.
We each have a couple of reassessments scheduled at LGL for the coming months….the first timing is likely to be the first week in December. Penang is an easy place to get to: the total cost for return airfare for the 2 of us comes to less than $100….and we are able to find suitable hotels close by the hospital for about $25-$30 per night.
We are now focused on our upcoming adventure into Myanmar, Northern Thailand and Laos; it is now less than 48 hours til we board our first flight.