30 May 2007

Socialised Medicine

Last night T's (R's?) illness got much worse, turning into a very painful ear infection. This led to new cultural experiences, as medicine, drugs, doctors are all different under the dreaded 'socialised medicine'. Here's the timeline:

9.30pm, last night
I rushed out to pick up some paracetamol, as we had none in the house. So I had to go to a tiny corner shop that was open late, and wasn't even a pharmacy. I expected to pay that ridiculous premium for buying drugs at tiny stores. Sure enough, they only had a small selection of things behind the counter that I had to ask for. Cost for a bottle: 39p.

9.15am, this morning
We call the local surgery. They pick up on the first ring. The conversation goes like this:
T: I've been sick for a week and think I need to see a doctor
Nurse: OK, what's your date of birth?
T: blah/blah/blah
Nurse: OK, how is 10.30 this morning?

10.28: Leave the house for the surgery, it's easily 1/4 mile away.

10.29: Arrive and check in at desk.

10.30: Name called.

10.36: T returns from doctor with filled out prescription

10.39: We drive up the street and arrive at the pharmacy.

10.42: T returns from pharmacy with prescription. Cost: free.

10.44: We arrive back at home.

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