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Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Healthcare in Korea: a trip to the doctor's office

My updates to my blog have slowed down in the past couple of weeks. Some of the reasons include: returning from a vacation to the UAE, working 12 hour days at work, and finally, experiencing a minor bout with pink eye and now the flu. Yup, that's right, Gdog has been bit with the flu bug and it's put me out of service--indefinitely. Tomorrow I'm actually taking a sick day--that means staying in and sleeping all day to rejuvenate myself.

Completing my strenuous day at work today was difficult to say the least. My throat and lungs are in pain and my body is aching. But, on the bright side, I did experience something new for the first time today: making a trip to the doctor's office in Korea!

Currently, we pay about 50,000w/month for health insurance through work (they pay for the other half). Today that money was put to good use as I visited a medical clinic during our lunch break. Now get ready for this...the ENTIRE trip took only 15 minutes or so, it was incredible!

The first step was showing up at this clinic near Omokgyo station. I gave the counter my ARC and health insurance papers, and we took a seat. About four minutes later I was inside the doctor's office being examined. She told me I had the flu--great. So we get ready to leave and pay our 3000w fee (for those who are now used to my conversions, you got that right...THREE dollars US) for seeing the doctor. Next step, off to the pharmacy. From there, we waited only five minutes and my prescription was ready. The total cost for my meds...drum roll please...1500w (or $1.50US)! Now that's what you call cheap (it helps to have health insurance).

Back in Canada, it would be a different story. What's the difference you ask? Well, the wait times now at your doctor's office can be up to one hour. Prescription drugs cost an arm and a leg, thanks to the dispensing fees from pharmacies. My other coworkers who have also experienced the health care system in Korea have been dully impressed. Wait times are almost non-existent and it's very cheap to buy medication. Not only that, the pharmacy gave out free drinking yogurt--score!

Here's a picture of my prescription drugs...notice how my pills are packed into individual packets (also notice the price, 1500w):


Anonymous said...

I gotta say, that's pretty awesome. So you get a bag with a bunch of mini-bags in it?

Gary said...

Yuppers. It doesn't get any easier than that to take my drugs. It's like opening a pack of candy.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right, (and its been a long, long time), healthcare in England is like that. Well, I'm not sure about the waiting part, but I think the price part was the same.

Anonymous said...

Drink lots of water and have lots of fruit.
Sleep tight!
I hope you feel better tomorrow. You can also try some ginger tea. You know where to get that recipe right? ;)

Anonymous said...

but no dairy if you're coughing up nastiness or congested. ;) it'll just cause more of the nastiness. ewww.

Hope you get better soon!

Gary said...

Thanks for the tips everyone--you guys rock! :)

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