Friday, 15 April 2011

Travel, Doctors and Travel Doctors

I'm off on a quick trip this weekend. Of to the 'dam with some school friends, and Keukenhoff gardens for some heady tulip sights. Kind of can't wait. First though

*begin rant and confusion and bewilderment*

Next week though, I'm heading further afield to Morocco - my first trip to any part of Africa. With that in mind, I thought it time I get my travel vaccinations up to date. I'm mostly up to date but I knew it was nigh on 10 years since my last Tetanus jab. So…here's how it went getting on.

Some set up though - in the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) provides free medical. You can see a doc and it won't cost you. Unlike Australia (which I naively thinks falls between the UK and US in terms of cost of care, but closer to the UK), you can only see the GP you register for. Or the GP clinic. You can't just get an appointment anywhere. And once you register at the clinic, assuming you're in good health, you will probably only ever see the practice nurse (eg. For contraception, I need to see the doc every two years but the practice nurse can reissue my prescriptions in the interim).

Turns out the practice nurse at my clinic is also the one to administer tetanus jabs. Turns out she's also on maternity leave until September. And no, giving my a vaccination is not something the doc can do. But the receptionist helpfully pointed out I can ring back in August to make an appointment. So, if the nurse is on maternity leave without cover - I can't get my tetanus jab there. I also can't get contraception there. Looks like a whole lot more people in my borough are going to be on maternity leave in the next year or so as well. Seriously guys? How does not providing nursing cover.

So contraception aside (deal with that later, and not on the blog - its more than any of you need to know), I still need a Tetanus booster. I'm lucky - I'm in a "good" job (quoted because it's not a job I like at the moment and I'm finishing up next Thursday) so I can afford to pay a fee to see a private doctor. That's not an issue (it's actually easier as I can do it in my lunch or coffee break, I don't need to take any leave). So I made an appointment for the private clinic on Tuesday to go get my tetanus (and polio and diptheria) vaccination.

On the way in this morning, I got a call from the doctor, wanting to know what type of tetanus jab I needed. Not understanding, he explained that there is a vaccination or there is a post accident/sht something has happened jab and he wanted to know which one it was I was after.

Does he really think, that if sht, something happened, I would make an appointment in advance and pay ridiculous fees when I could just walk into any hospital and get treated for free?

Seriously? Health care in this country baffles me beyond.

Anyway, I got the vaccination and that's me done for another ten years.

*end rant* (confusion and bewilderment continues)

What's healthcare like where you are? Cheap/free/expensive? Accessible?  I do appreciate that it is mostly free here - I think that is fantastic.

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