I stopped by for Miguel and Iris this morning at 6:30 a.m.. Miguel has had serious back problems for the last week...his 1st and 5th vertebra. It's actually a chronic problem. He missed a couple weeks for the same reason about a year ago. He has not been working. I offered to take them to the clinic, so they wouldn't have to endure a rather jarring ride in public transportation. Here, in order to get medical attention, you have to show up at the local clinic around 6:30 a.m. and get one of the 40 numbers that are handed out at this time. Then, you need to wait in rather uncomfortable chairs until your doctor can attend to you. Miguel was #7. By the way, the temperature was 37ºF this morning!
I stopped by the clinic around 9 a.m. on my way to prayer meeting (13 of us this morning). The said that at that point they were #2. Iris texted me around 10 a.m. and said they were done. I went and picked them up. Later today, Iris needs to take Miguel's x-rays and medical reports for another doctor to determine if Miguel's employer needs to reimburse him for his lost time. Or not. Welcome to socialized medicine!
There are several different levels of government-sponsored health care, ranging from satisfactory to horrid. Having said that, you can always find surprising cases of excellent care within the system. There are good doctors even with an over-burdened and often antiquated system. But anyone who has the financial means usually opts for private health care (often even if they have social medicine option through their employment). World-case private hospitals are also readily available, especially in the bigger cities.
Up until around a year ago, prescription medicine was available without a prescription. Now, however, you need a doctor's issued prescription for any sort of antibiotic or controlled medication. You might have to pay a whole $3 for that privilege!
Don't forget to pray for Miguel!