Little R did not improve from her illness of yesterday; instead, she got worse and spent the day fussing, sleeping or lethargically trying to play. I took her temperature at 6:30 pm, and found that it had risen to 103. This meant a trip to the emergency room, as her pediatrician's office was not open (it being Saturday evening and the beginning of Chinese New Year).
B and I packed our bags, called a taxi, and went off to the closest hospital, fully expecting an hours-long wait. B even took his computer so that he could work as we waited. To our surprise, the entire experience (including the taxi ride) took under one hour!!
We arrived, were interviewed and processed, then sent to reception, where our insurance information and personal information was entered into their system (as we hadn't been to the hospital before). Then we proceeded to the special children's ER waiting area, where we first saw the nurse (who weighed little R and took her temperature and blood pressure), then saw the doctor within 10 minutes. She was very nice and professional, and spent 20-30 minutes with us, patiently answering all our questions (I was kind of freaking out, as it's the first time little R has had a real sickness; luckily she's fine). We received prescriptions, a follow-up appointment, and a pamphlet about fevers. The prescriptions were filled at the hospital in about 5 minutes, and we were free to go.
It was incredibly efficient and stream-lined. I couldn't believe how easy the whole process was (or how cheap: we paid $5 singapore, or about $4 usd). I was really impressed.
It also reminds me how terrible the US medical system is. We really need an overhaul; unfortunately, due to bureaucratic inefficiency and vested interests, the chances of this are very small. Sad.