From Tanzania to Tyneside
Dominic F Mosha compares the experiences of studying in Tyneside with health care in his home country
After travelling for about 15 hours from Tanzania, east Africa, I finally landed in Newcastle, United Kingdom. I spent 12 weeks at North Tyneside General Hospital in departments including internal medicine—for example, cardiology, endocrinology, geriatric, and so on—and I also had exposure to public health in Northumberland. I learnt a lot from patients and health personnel, and also about the health system.
Most patients came to the outpatients department as new patients after being referred by their general practitioner. Others came for a follow up appointment after a previous visit. I was surprised to see that the referral letters from general practitioners were well organised and detailed; they mentioned patients' current complaints, symptoms, and what had been done. They also included details about the past history of the patient. In our referral hospital at home, patients may be seen without any referral letter. If patients do have referral letters, these