I dislocated my left shoulder in Sri Lanka in early December 2012 whilst body surfing in Mirissa. A powerful wave ripped my arm out. For those who have never had a shoulder dislocation, I cannot begin to explain how much it hurts. I broke my leg before and this is more painful.
I went to a private hospital in Matara 8 miles away by taxi as there were no ambulances. I was asked for my name by the medical officer there. He didn't even examine me or show any compassion. I was told by the medical officer to go for an x-ray, so I was pushed in a wheelchair to the third floor and to the other side of the hospital to the x-ray room. However, it was locked and the technician was on a prolonged break. The hospital porter just abandoned me for 15 minutes to find out where the technician was. Finally I was taken back down to the medical officer who said that I have to go up to the x-ray room again. I told him there was no one there. He made a phone call and told me to go back up. This time the technician was there. This whole ordeal took an hour and I was in excruciating pain throughout. Finally, the medical officer told me that there is no orthopaedic doctor for another 3 hours. He could have told me this when I first arrived to save me an agonizing wait of one hour. I told him that I couldn't wait so he said that I would have to go to another hospital. He agreed to transport me there by ambulance but charged me for the ambulance.
I arrived at the 2nd private hospital and dealt with another medical officer, who also didn't really show any empathy or compassion. The hospital refused to treat me until I paid the equivalent of GBP 250 in cash upfront, which I did not have. They couldn't care less about my travel insurance details. I was sitting in a wheelchair crying in an office and this medical officer in front of me was laughing on the phone to a friend. After letting me suffer without treatment for an hour, they did a U-turn and agreed to give me medical treatment by way of general anaesthetic and to take credit card payment afterwards.
After I was discharged, I returned to my guesthouse in Mirissa and spoke to the guesthouse owners who said that they and many others had complained about the treatment they had received at these hospitals, but were ignored. The following day I went back to the 2nd hospital and complained to the General Manager about both hospitals. He is responsible for both of them as they belong to the same parent company. Two weeks later he emailed me to say that the first medical officer was suspended for 2 weeks, the second medical officer was suspended for 1 month, and the accounts person who blocked my medical treatment was given a written warning. So, it does pay to complain and you will help the local people as well.