One Day – Dr. Uwe Stocker

Dr. Uwe Stocker
Dr. Uwe Stocker is Asia director for International SOS, one of the world’s leading medical-assistance companies that has three clinics in Indonesia.

The 42-year-old Berlin-born father of two young girls, Naomi and Sarah, with his Indonesian wife Lina is currently stationed in Bangkok, Thailand, and shared his day with Bali Times contributor Bagus Ferriyanto

I get up around seven in the morning, usually having been woken by the girls, who sleep in our bedroom. The girls have a shower and Naomi gets ready for preschool, where she has to be before 8am. Our household staff make breakfast for us, Indonesian or Thai food. I drive Naomi to school and then take the train for a 45-minute ride to the office.
I was a senior medical advisor with International SOS in Jakarta but last September moved to Thailand as part of a promotion. I had been in Indonesia for eight years and my daughters were born in Jakarta, where we still have a house. In Thailand our house is rented by the company and is part of my expatriate package.

In Bangkok I monitor emergency cases all around Asia, whether in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar or elsewhere in the region. We provide medical transportation to get the patients the right treatment and while it may look easy it’s quite complicated. The most important thing is the patient and to make sure they have the correct treatment.

Some people, especially foreigners who don’t speak the local language, need to talk to us to get medical advice. For example, if you’re in the middle of the jungle in Borneo, or somewhere in the ocean doing oil exploration, and you come down with a fever, you can call our alarm center for help. We have to weigh the facts and decide whether to pick up the person and take them to hospital or just give them some advice. Telephone advice is only for International SOS members; they can call from anywhere in the world to speak to our alarm center personnel.

I have lunch at a mall near to my office, and mostly I have Asian food. In the afternoons, I usually have meetings or work on some projects. At least once a month I travel to another city, where I’ll visit hospitals and consult with doctors about what kind of treatment patients we’ve transferred there are getting.

Some of the most high-profile people we’ve been involved with have included the boss of Danone and soccer player Zinedine Zidane, who were invited to Bangladesh by the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohammad Yunus. I stay in the background, in case people like these require medical treatment, when we need to rent an ambulance, find out what doctors are available and in the case of an emergency, call a helicopter for an evacuation. I spent three days in Dacca and thankfully no one needed any medical care.
For me, every medical transfer is different and has unique challenges. Almost all of the stories have a good ending, though.

I like uncertainty, and don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years. I just trust that everything will work out for the best.

I try to leave the office around 6:30 in the evening and head home to put the kids to bed because I haven’t seen them all day. Then I have dinner with Lina. I like Thai salad and also rendang and teri fish. If I get home early enough we might go to the cinema.
I’m in bed by 1, already planning the day to come. Human life is so fragile; we have to take good care of ourselves.

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