08 July 2008

A Visit to the Doctor

No conversation about our moving to South America ever ended without someone asking what we planned to do for medical care. The implication invariably was that we were setting ourselves up for iffy if not downright inferior treatment. Based on our first experience with the health care system in Argentina we're not too worried. 

For a couple of weeks now, Linda had a nagging cough and sore throat. Today it worsened so we walked toward Hospital Aleman, perhaps the ritziest medical facility in the country. But before getting there we turned into a Swiss Medical Group facility not two blocks from the apartment. The place was spotless and new. A receptionist referred us to ear, nose, and throat specialists on the second floor. We went up, waited in line for a few seconds, and while Kurt went to retrieve Linda's passport for the all-important document number, she was whisked in to see a young female doctor in a white coat. By the time he returned, Linda was coming out of the examining room with two prescriptions: one for antibiotics and another for a decongestant. The charge for the visit (without private medical insurance) was about $16! Two doors from Swiss Medical we filled both prescriptions for $23. The antibiotic alone would have cost $65  in the States.

We could submit these payments to our health insurance carrier in the U.S. for reimbursement but it hardly seems worth the effort. As soon as we finish with other pressing matters (the final punch lists on the apartments, customs procedures for our household shipment, etc.), we'll resume looking into private medical coverage here. Never has medical care been so easy, so efficient, or so cheap. 

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