I had memorable days working as Medical Officer in Kangar. Kangar is the principal town, the capital of Perlis. It was the placement that I was looking forward. Since my kampung is near to Kangar, it was an opportunity to go back home every weeks.
The Kangar town itself, was only lively during daytime. The market area where I used to walk with Yusry when we were in Year 3 Medic school, used to be busy. Motorcycles screamed. Van and lorry drivers honked every now and then, looking for space to park and unload their goods. Cars yelped and hooted; pedestrians leapt for their safety.
I remember that I had to walk from the bus station to Yusry’s house which distance was about 1-1.5 km, across the small bridge and passing in front of Dr Hamid Pawanteh’s clinic before reaching his parents’ home. Those days, street used to be placid and docile.
When my dad was admitted to Kangar General Hospital in the 60s, Kangar was a quiet place of greensward and old shop houses. Kangar used to be chilled by a constant breeze of cool air from Andaman Sea but unfortunately, lately, Kangar is flooded by water released from Timah Tasoh dam, fairly regularly.
When I was in Kangar, Timah Tasoh Dam was under construction. I had to use the old trunk road to Padang Besar. I’m still remember giving talk to patients in Felda Mata Air, on the way to Padang Besar on special request from the Health Centre. I hope my memory serve me right on this matter after 30 over years it had taken place.
Perlis itself has many limestone hills. They look like elephant and indigo against the earth surface. From Kangar to Kuala Perlis, the horizon was marked by the viridian turned golden fields of padi which later ready to be harvested.
The new expressway from Changloon to Kuala Perlis has taken over the function of old trunk road that I’d used to drive from Arau-Kodiang-Padang Sera-Pauh to Changloon. Kodiang is famous for it’s pasembur which kedai is located near the bus station while Padang Sera is famous for the wat Siam called Wat Boonyaram. Those days, Pauh was so ulu (remote) with only one private clinic owned by my ex-colleague in Hospital Kangar, Dr Maniam.
It was here in Kangar that I master my O+G skills. Life as a Medical Officer was less enjoyable compared to Houseman. This was due to the fact that I had to bear heavy responsibilities dealing with patients’ safety. I remember very well dealing with an emergency case of uterine inversion following manual removal of placenta. It was the most senior MO that guided me through during the difficult time.
The best part of the posting was performing LSCS. I am pretty sure, if I were to keep a log book, there were hundred of them performed during the posting. We never go home before six every day. It was the most productive year of my life.