I was hoping to stretch out our adventures for a few months but the Universe had other ideas. Vince came down with the creeping crud a day after our long flight and he thinks it was probably from the germy airplane air. Ten days later we went to the doctor.
Doctors work out of hospitals and pharmacies are every few blocks and in the malls where you can walk in and talk to a trained, certified Pharmacist and they will diagnosis your symptoms and give you medication. I needed to do this last January and told them my symptoms of cough and green gunk and they gave me antibiotics. It is very easy, convenient and inexpensive.
The day after we moved into the condo I went to the pharmacy and picked up some cold tablets, throat lozenges and later eye drops for Vince. After a couple days with no change we decided to walk to the hospital which is all of 5 minutes away.
I found the website of the hospital and it shows 30% of their patients are foreigners and English is spoken. We arrived at 5:50 am and walked onto the Emergency area. One man asked what we needed and asked us to sit. We waited no more than a minute when a triage nurse man took Vince's blood pressure and temperature. He asked questions and we showed him the medication he had been taking for the last few days. He asked us to sit.
Less than 5 minutes he was shown to a desk nearby where the Doctor was. He asked questions, we showed him the medication, he wrote on the chart, asked more questions, looked at his throat and shined light in his eyes and told Vince he would prescribe 5 different medicines. He asked us to go to the pharmacy and sit. It was a 30 second walk. We waited there for approximately 15 minutes. I think because we were so early and no one was there.
The pharmacist handed the woman in the next window a piece of paper and motioned us to go see her. This was the window to pay for everything. She verified his name and took payment and motioned us to go to next window to pick up the medicine. The Pharmacist gave him 5 things with labels in English.
Eye Drops, Pills for pain, Pills for cough, Pills for Sinus and Antibiotics (Amoxicillin)
We were there for a total of 40 minutes, the total bill (translated in dollars) $34.94
The Doctor charges was $7.66
The medication was $27.28
I am shocked, amazed, comforted, and at ease. Yet, thoroughly disgusted and appalled at how the health care in the US operates....it really is criminal.
After two doses of the antibiotics Vince had a reaction and had to quit taking them and we were back to the hospital. This time it was 8 in the morning. We were the only foreigners there and had no problems seeing a doctor and getting different medication. We were in and out in less than an hour. This time the charges were:
Doctor 50 Baht ($1.52 USD)
Pharmacy 720 Baht ($21.92 USD)
Total 770 Baht ($23.42 USD)
Well, we did say we wanted adventure!