27 APRIL 2015

Hope blooms bright in Semarang

Dr Meidy Tanzil helps patients in Indonesia link up with PCC doctors in Singapore, and gives them support throughout.

For cancer patients in Semarang, Central Java, Dr Meidy Tanzil is usually their first glimmer of hope.

Dr Meidy is the liaison between patients and the oncologists and surgeons of Parkway Cancer Centre (PCC) in Singapore, helping them to make appointments, and even being a friendly presence (over the telephone), when those patients finally go to Singapore for treatment.

“During their treatment in Singapore, I will keep monitoring them via WhatsApp and BBM,” said the 39-year-old doctor.

It is this willingness to go the extra mile that makes her well-liked among the patients. It also helps that she is a former general practitioner as well. Being medically trained, she is able to help explain medical issues with greater clarity. And having worked with PCC for the past nine years, she’s also become very familiar with chemotherapy as well.

“Every day I talk with so many doctors, so they teach me about chemotherapy,” she said.

Dr Meidy started PCC’s representative office back in 2005 and today, they have four staff. The CanHOPE office was opened in 2009. At CanHOPE, their job is to provide pre- and post-treatment support.

“We prepare patients when they want to seek treatment in Singapore. They bring their medical reports and I will direct them to the most suitable doctor. I will also explain to them what kind of diagnostic procedure they need to do, the costs and the kind of surgical procedures they will need to undergo.”

Dr Meidy says she loves her job.

“Every day I learn new things, and I can meet with a lot of people. I enjoy doing consultations with them. I enjoy the way they trust me to arrange their medical treatments.”

She also loves the fact that she can help to make a difference.

Recently, she had a lady in her early 50s who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer. Doctors in Semarang said they could not operate because the tumour was too big. “She came to me frightened and crying,” she recalled.

In Singapore, they started with chemotherapy first to shrink the tumour. “During the chemo, she was very scared. But by the third cycle, she was a totally different person. By the sixth cycle, she was happy and cheerful; people would never know that she had cancer.”

It is because of stories like this that Singapore is a popular destination for cancer patients in Semarang.

“They have trust in Singapore, the doctors, the treatment,” said Dr Meidy. “For Semarang people, if they have cancer and they can afford it, they will think of Singapore. In Semarang, we don’t have PET scans or MRI, even radiotherapy is very standard. On the other hand, we have very famous doctors in PCC.”

Written by Jimmy Yap

TAGS cancer treatment abroad, CanHOPE, dr meidy tanzil
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