MY NEW BLOG: The Ciudadista: Life in the City

Friday, June 18, 2004

Doctors here and back home

My throat is sore. When I arrived home around two hours ago I immediately ate an orange, a zinc pill and other vitamins. I did not expect that my throat will sore this much if I did I would have passed by the nearest convenience store to buy losenges. I was thinking of drinking paracetamol but I do not have them except for Ibuprofen pain killers.

My sore throat has made me think of how health care works in this country. If you have a medical complaint you need to first go to a GP or general practitioner. Your GP will make initial diagnosis and may give you a prescription, medical advice or refer you to a specialist. This is okay but GP prices start from $15 to $60! Sometime GPs may not give you an exact diagnosis of your condition. (I have heard three stories about these.) Aside from that you need to make an appointment. (Did you know that there are no board exams to be a doctor in New Zealand?!)

Back home in the Philippines, you can go straight to a specialist and direct to a hospital. You do not need to make an appointment in most cases. You can also get an accurate diagnosis. I remember the doctors at the Philippines National Kidney Institute who diagnosed and "healed" me when I was young (thanks to our family's HMO too). I recovered from my UTI.

I miss the caring hands and expertise of doctors back home.

I wish that by tomorrow my condition will be better after I take losenges and probably see a local doctor.