Angry Doctor

Friday, September 23, 2005

Oranges and Lemons

Bonus Bogus Story

Singapore –

Average Hospital will replace the old number-based queue system at its outpatient clinics with a system based on fruits from next month onwards.

Mr Lam Boo Tan, manager of the hospital’s IT department announced this today at a press conference.

‘We received feedback from our clinic staff and clients that the old number-based queue system is a source of stress for both parties. We have displayed prominent signs to inform our clients that queue numbers may not be called in sequence, but oftentimes they will still inquire at registration or enter the consultation room before their number has been called to confirm when they see another number called before theirs. This disrupts clinic function and causes delay for all parties concerned.’

The new system, now under pilot in one of the clinics, uses a sequence of four icons of fruits instead of numerals. The icons are not assigned a specific numerical value, but are assigned in numerical sequence using a patented encoding system to ensure no duplication.

As there is no predictable pattern to the sequence the fruits are displayed in, patients can only know if their turn to see the doctor has come up by matching the fruits displayed on the display screen with those on their chits.

So far the system has received positive feedback from the staff and patients.

‘We have encountered some problems with confusion over oranges and lemons due to their similar appearance, but we will be customising the display to use familiar local fruits like durians and papayas before we implement this system hospital-wide.’ said Mr Lam.



  • why not give private or paying patients a series of oranges, apples or lemons in a row (a.k.a jackpot strike!) - those that get such 'lucky' series can console themselves that its their lucky day to see a dr. sure beats the current system of "0921" or "294" and patients can't tell how many pple are ahead of them!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 23, 2005 2:31 pm  

  • haha,good one,no more harassments!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At September 24, 2005 12:55 pm  

  • Hiya!!!Wonderful idea!

    Since they simply cannot understand that numbers may not be in running order, this should clearly bring the message across.

    And since they are random pictorial,they have to be physically present to pick a Q number as well as match them.

    And since they are so confused, doctor too have no choice but follow the order, and goes all the way down if they miss their Q!!

    In case you think I work for the clusters/ la, just a solo GP with patients who all want to be special, come at their own convenient time but dont wanna wait......

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 01, 2005 7:12 am  

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