Sunday, October 4, 2009

Socialized Medicine

So after about a week of sleeping 4 hours a day something strange happened to me...I caught a cold. Funny how that works. But due to my shunning of doctors (especially a certain dirty old Korean one that initially examined me when I first arrived...but that's a different story)...I let it go on too long and the cold moved into my chest and I caught a mild case of Bronchitis....

The first thing I had to do was find a doctor...

There are more clinics within one block of me than there are Starbucks in downtown Bellevue. There are 3 clinics on ONE side of ONE block going towards work. For the record, I'm out in the outskirts of Seoul...my apartment building is only 8 stories tall (as opposed to the 15+ that are standard in Haman...and they only get taller is Seoul).

I had my co-workers help me pick a local doctor that speaks English. In this case, it was the second clinic from the subway....it was pretty far away...I mean I did have to cross the side street and everything. After a 5 meter walk, I took the elevator, then I took a number and waited...and waited...and caught up on my Sodoku.

When the doctor saw me, I explained that I had a cough and an annoying rattle in my chest. He had a somewhat vacant stare Hmmm...while apparently he advertised himself as an English Speaking Doctor...his conversational skills were somewhat rusty.

Fortunately, I turned my head and coughed just then (into my sleeve the way I've been taught!)

His eyes lit up and he whipped out his stethoscope (I didn't even have to take my shirt off) and declared that I had chronic bronchitis... He briefly wrote a prescription and sent me out the door...

I walked up to the counter and the receptionist asked me for my insurance card...my national run by the government insurance....you know socialized medicine insurance card...she told me how much it was...thought better of herself...then wrote it down. It came out to 3500 won.

I couldn't believe my eyes! I had her check it again to make sure all the zeros were correct. My co-pay on my doctor's visit was less than 3 dollars. Curse you socialized medicine! I spent more on coffee that day than I did visiting my doctor!!!

I went downstairs to the pharmacy...and paid for the antibiotics...another brutal hit of 18500 won to my pocket book...however could I manage to spend 16 dollars on a week's worth of medication!!!

Man socialized medicine is awesome!

1 comment:

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