Almost every woman, and some men, will have reasons to seek for Gynecological care at some point. It’s important that the correct care gets offered, in a good facility and by the most competent Gynecologist.
In emergency situations, you must always be attended by an emergency team in the nearest health facility. However, in non-emergency situations, one should take time to select both a good facility and a good Gynecologist. But how do you do this?
Unlike in some countries, there is no formal quality ranking of Gynecological institutions in Kenya. However, informal judgements on quality can be inferred through experiences, public information, accessibility etc. Always select the most reputable institution that you can afford. Such institutions have the processes and resources required to ensure quality. Free consultations as part of social responsibility may also be offered, always make enquiries.
Choosing a good Gynecologist can be daunting as formal ranking is unavailable. Informal selections can be based on experiences, web-based profiles, and the Gynecologist’s extra qualifications in certain aspects of Gynecology. High consultation fees are not a reflection of higher skills or competence.
The first thing is to be clear why you need a Gynecology consultation. Most problems are of a general nature, and can be handled in most institutions and by most Gynecologists. Consultations should be unhurried, your permission must be sort for any examination, and a chaperone must be offered. Any tests suggested must add value to the diagnosis, otherwise they should be omitted. The Gynecologist must explain, clearly and in plain language, what the diagnosis is.
You must be given a chance to ask questions. This clarifies the problem, and helps you to make decisions on treatment choices. The days when doctors could not be questioned are long gone.
Most Gynecological problems have more than one treatment option, including doing nothing. The guiding principles are to offer the most conservative options first, leaving more invasive and expensive choices last. Once treatment has been suggested, please ask about alternatives, what the treatment involves, how much it costs, and what the side effects are. If an operation is suggested, please clarify if that’s the most suitable option, whether the Gynecologist is experienced in doing such operations, how many s/he has done in the past, and the complication rates. Following any procedure, an explanation must be given on what exactly was done, and if there were any complications.
You have the liberty to decline any proposed interventions. If dissatisfied or unclear about some aspects of your care, always seek a second opinion. This is especially important if proposed remedies are invasive and expensive. Any problem that is not an emergency can always wait.
Every Gynecologist or institution should have a complaints procedure. Make use of this to seek redress if need arises.Take a fertility test today