I have spent more time at doctor’s offices in the 5 months I have been than I have in 5 years in Seattle.
Haven’t found anything seriously wrong yet, but we’ll keep looking! [I am not a hypochondriac ]
- Prescription drugs
They’re aren’t any. Well very few. With the exception of tranquilizing drugs, anything that is available in the country is available at any pharmacy. Walk in, tell em what your complaint is, walk out with drugs.
I got a package of 12 Ampiclox. (A combo of 2 different anti-biotics) for LE7. about US$1.20.
Have trouble sleeping? A 10-pack of valium.
My doctor was a little confused when, after he told me to take the antibiotics for a throat infection, I asked him for a prescription. He just wrote it down on a pad of paper so I would remember what to ask for.
- Giving blood.
This has been a little scary. I have had a couple of very professional blood draws. And one that left me bruised and resolute to never allow that person to even swab my arm prior to drawing the blood, never mind actually sticking me with a needle.
Spotty. It is important, though not easy, to differentiate between an old, paint peeling room that is clean, from an old, paint-peeling room that is not clean.
Oh and I did get a chuckle from a technician that put on clean latex gloves, then proceeded to touch just about everything in the room. Including exiting and entering the room at least 3 times to fetch items while wearing the gloves. I guess it kept her hands clean..
I went to see an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist. (Nagging sore throat. ended up with an antibiotic which seems to have cleared things up.)
Anyway, after talking with him he said “that will be LE100. (about US$18). He made out a receipt for me and I paid him directly. He put it in his pocket.
So I take the anti-biotics he prescribed and go back to see him in 3 days. He says I am doing well and tells me to take them for another 4 days. Then to come back in a week. No Charge.
I go back in a week. Good progress. Come back if it flares up again. No Charge.
So apparently, that LE100 pays for some number of visits? or is a flat fee for that ailment? I dunno.
- The last issue, and a surprisingly difficult one is one of “privilege”
The university maintains a clinic on campus. Faculty, Administration and Staff, as well as their families can use that for free. There is walk in as well as appointments. There is also a small pharmacy on site. Anything there is free, though you must talk with a doctor first. Which is also free.
There is a pecking order at the clinic, even for walk-ins.
Faculty (and Faculty spouses), get priority. Then “admin”, which are the “professionals”: secretaries, administrators etc. Then “staff” which is the maintenance and janitorial help.
I have gone in to see the doctor on a walk in basis, and there have been at least a dozen people waiting. I wrote my name down and sat down to wait. I was the very next person called.
This same prioritization applies to private doctor’s offices and clinics, as far as I can tell. I have gone to a doctor off campus and have had the same thing happen. I had “an appointment”. Though doctor’s appointments mean less here than they do in the states.
I walked in and there were a half dozen or so locals sitting around waiting to see the doctor, but I am the next person called in.
I have to admit that I feel just a little quilty about it.