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Old 25-09-2012, 16:39   #31
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

I don't think I'll be advising anyone to get non urgent medical attention in the Philippines after my experiences.

Swam in a pool at Alona Beach. Water gets into my ear, wax swells up, uncomfortable.

Travel to Cebu City (2nd largest in Philippines). Next morning (Sunday) ask the hotel front desk for a doctor. None available, but they do locate a nurse, who turns up in crisp white uniform. Can't do anything.

Check out hospital reviews on the internet. Find the one with the best reviews, hop in a taxi, get there, wait an hour, see doctor, no syringe, get antibiotic prescription, pay P550 (about $15), get prescription filled (P600).

They did give me the number of a specialist but the ear had settled down so I just let it be.

Waited till I got back to Oz and tried to see my regular doctor, saw partner instead. Got more antibiotics to settle it down, saw regular doc a few days later.

10 minutes later half a tonne of gunk was washed out of my ear and all was right in the world.
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Old 25-09-2012, 17:04   #32
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

Happens in the US also but at much greater cost.

Bad ear infection from water that my normal Hydrogen Peroxide application regimen didn't cure. Went to the "doc in the box" and US $450 and 30 seconds later I have a prescription for a US $90 antibiotic that didn't cure the infection.

Hydrogen Peroxide finally got it.

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Old 25-09-2012, 17:47   #33
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

SWW-I also have been folowing your tribulations. A friend of my Dad's was struck by lightning on the golf course and he had issues similar, although not as intense, as yours. You have my admiration. After reading your Blog on PArt 2, I think I know why you have problems with US ERs. You have tattoos! Everybody knows people with a lot of tattoos who show up in ERs are just looking for drugs! Even if you are puking on the Dr, screaming in pain, it is easier to just go with the stereotype rather than treat people with respect, listen to them and really practice medicine! I have a good friend and fellow boater who is an inner city ER physician and he fights that attitude constantly with his co-workers.

I am glad you have found good trerament with what seems like caring providers who actually are interested in the underlying problem not the symptoms.

My best to you and please keep writing!
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Old 25-09-2012, 18:23   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay
I don't think I'll be advising anyone to get non urgent medical attention in the Philippines after my experiences.

Swam in a pool at Alona Beach. Water gets into my ear, wax swells up, uncomfortable.

Travel to Cebu City (2nd largest in Philippines). Next morning (Sunday) ask the hotel front desk for a doctor. None available, but they do locate a nurse, who turns up in crisp white uniform. Can't do anything.

Check out hospital reviews on the internet. Find the one with the best reviews, hop in a taxi, get there, wait an hour, see doctor, no syringe, get antibiotic prescription, pay P550 (about $15), get prescription filled (P600).

They did give me the number of a specialist but the ear had settled down so I just let it be.

Waited till I got back to Oz and tried to see my regular doctor, saw partner instead. Got more antibiotics to settle it down, saw regular doc a few days later.

10 minutes later half a tonne of gunk was washed out of my ear and all was right in the world.
Sounds like a good result to me

Dave
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Old 25-09-2012, 18:26   #35
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

Bad laceration to leg in Central America. Bleeding profusely 15cm luckily missed many vital structures but nonetheless very urgent. Polite doc and facility but sutured poorly. Luckily I flew home to US. After lots of antibiotics and then a redo to fix the botched job I eventually recovered but long story short had I been in the US it would have been a minor fix with full recovery in 2 weeks versus a long drawn out needlessly stressful and complicated recovery.
So I would be careful about needlessly bashing US Medicine. Bad things can happen anywhere I suppose.
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Old 25-09-2012, 18:34   #36
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

Just tangential to the main thread, anyone with serious dental issues should consider Thailand. I believe you can get a complete set of dentures with titanium posts embedded right into your jaws for about two grand. I paid that much for one root canal over 20 years ago in Australia.
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Old 25-09-2012, 18:34   #37
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCall View Post
SWW-I also have been folowing your tribulations. A friend of my Dad's was struck by lightning on the golf course and he had issues similar, although not as intense, as yours. You have my admiration. After reading your Blog on PArt 2, I think I know why you have problems with US ERs. You have tattoos! Everybody knows people with a lot of tattoos who show up in ERs are just looking for drugs! Even if you are puking on the Dr, screaming in pain, it is easier to just go with the stereotype rather than treat people with respect, listen to them and really practice medicine! I have a good friend and fellow boater who is an inner city ER physician and he fights that attitude constantly with his co-workers.

I am glad you have found good trerament with what seems like caring providers who actually are interested in the underlying problem not the symptoms.

My best to you and please keep writing!
It must be tough. Bet he is young. Because statistically.........
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Old 25-09-2012, 18:44   #38
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

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Part 2 is up. Sorry for the delay, rough week and this stuff is hard to write.
Landfall Voyages Mexican Emergency Room Madness, aka Part 2

sww,

Your affliction is truly interesting, odd, unusual etc. Bet you heard that a thousand times.

Throw in the potassium and, ummm, you better be careful.

Makes me wonder if it was low before because it is on the most basic of blood tests everywhere. Even the US. No one noticing it before? Strange indeed.

Now that you know the proper intervention do you, like most cruisers with medical conditions I have read about, carry the meds so you can treat yourself and styme these symptoms earlier?

Most, it would seem to me, would have cut the cruising so as to limit chances of no treatment. Kudos to your courage.
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Old 25-09-2012, 18:44   #39
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

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Originally Posted by Lojanica View Post
Bad laceration to leg in Central America. Bleeding profusely 15cm luckily missed many vital structures but nonetheless very urgent. Polite doc and facility but sutured poorly. Luckily I flew home to US. After lots of antibiotics and then a redo to fix the botched job I eventually recovered but long story short had I been in the US it would have been a minor fix with full recovery in 2 weeks versus a long drawn out needlessly stressful and complicated recovery.
So I would be careful about needlessly bashing US Medicine. Bad things can happen anywhere I suppose.
Central America isn't a country or a uniform medical system. Was this Panama City sophisticated medicine or a remote clinic in an indigenous area of Guatemala? Wide range. US medicine is generally good if and only if you have insurance and don' t mind wasted tests and the paths they lead you down.
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Old 25-09-2012, 19:05   #40
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

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Central America isn't a country or a uniform medical system. Was this Panama City sophisticated medicine or a remote clinic in an indigenous area of Guatemala? Wide range. US medicine is generally good if and only if you have insurance and don' t mind wasted tests and the paths they lead you down.
The wasted tests are because of the lawyers. No one in medicine would do them (well there will always be a relative or two that own the CT machine, eh? ) if we did not have the litigious society we have. That needs to change for sure.

As for insurance. Nothing to do with that in the ER. Sure they are going to ask you but you and the Medicaid pt. and the homeless person in line are going to be triaged and seen in the proper order, given the same tests, given the same drugs and provided with the same care, no matter what. It is the way it is done and is also the law. At least in every ER I have been in or passed through. (I will admit there are a lot of ERs and I have not seen a fraction of them

I know the US is not perfect but I also know from experience and research that one must be careful when comparing different systems because seldom will you see a true apple to apple comparison on which you make your assumptions. Especially if it comes from the Nooze.

Our family knows many (well, not so many now as they are dying off like my parents did) Americans all over the planet but I will only tell one story. American, retired, UK, cataracts. "Not bad enough". "I can't read well or drive". "Not bad enough". "But, But"........"You are too old now". "What? I am fine. I just can't see" Yep, aged out. He came to the US for a "vacation" (with cash). Now he can read and drive.

Just one more useless anecdotal story. Truly useless. Only honest stats will tell the story. Good luck with that!

Could there be a reason(s), that like in so many other fields, a large portion the rest of the world is desperately trying to gain their education from the US?
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Old 25-09-2012, 19:22   #41
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Could there be a reason(s), that like in so many other fields, a large portion the rest of the world is desperately trying to gain their education from the US?
I'll think you find that the world seeks medical education, in most high tech societies. Interesting they all want to work in medicine in the Us and I dont think it's down to the number of ct machines.

You uk view is somewhat flawed. The uk has a thriving private medical industry. If you have cash you can get it done just like in the US. What you were describing was getting it done for free. This is elective surgery.

in the case of healthcare the us has got it wrong , no other country implements it like they do. ( as the old lady says as she drives down the wrong way on a motorway!!).

Having said that no system is perfect that's for sure.

Dave
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Old 25-09-2012, 19:26   #42
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

I've had both medical and dental care in a number of countries outside the US and have always been satisfied. Very professional, good, inexpensive (at least by US standards). While I haven't (yet) done so, I have even considered deliberate medical tourism a couple of times because I've seen the quality exceed what I get at home and the cost isn't even a comparison.

[Sermon]
A couple of (preachy) thoughts in that regard, but what I think is in line with CF rules/goals/attitudes.

1. If you got a great visit with a doctor and it only cost you $50, please remember that the median income in the world is $850/year. That means that half the world gets by on less than that, and to them $50 would be a princely sum. Just because we can afford it doesn't mean the locals around us have the same access this "great, inexpensive" medical care.

2. If your doctor was "US-trained" and charged you $50 for a long visit there is no way his/her fees even begin to pay back the cost of his/her US (or European) medical education. That means your health care is being subsidized by someone. Could be a local health system, local taxes, charity, whatever. Someone footed the bill to train that doctor, and as a visitor you probably didn't pay into whatever system that was. So treat it with respect and use it knowing that the great "deal" that you got came because someone else is footing the bill. If you really can't believe the deal, and the doctor can't/won't charge you more, ask them if there is anything you can do to help locals access the same medical care. I've almost always found that doctors know of some clinic that needs a donation/help/whatever. To me it's a karma thing, I'm blessed to be able to walk into a doctor, plunk down $50 and a) think nothing of the amount and b) think I got way more than I paid for.

[/End Sermon]
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Old 25-09-2012, 20:34   #43
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

Several things that I need to address here.
First, it is not me, but my wife who was hurt and had this experience and wrote about it. She thanks you for the compliments on her writing. (I am an average writer, she is amazing.)
This is the 7th time that we've been to the ER for exactly this. The second from the worst symptoms but the best ER out of 4, so we are actually comparing apples to apples except for the price.
We have seen a great many doctors about my wife's problems but we have also seen many more for my son's problems. He has achondroplastic dwarfism, you see, and has had 30 surgeries from a tracheostomy to neurosurgery to a series of leg straightening procedures. We are also comparing this experience to those, mostly at Cedars-Sinai, one of the world's finest hospitals and the very best place for dwarfism related issues IMHO.
We' not necessarily saying that this treatment was better than that at Cedars but it wasn't any worse they were just so compassionate here. So kind and compassionate.
Lastly, she has had the tattoo for less than a year so out of all these times she's only been in the ER twice with the tatt, once in San Francisco and once here.
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Old 25-09-2012, 21:01   #44
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

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The times we have had to have medical care out side the US we have been happy with the quality.

I would carry evacuation insurance for a calamitous event that I would want to go "Home" for, to be with family as a support network.
+++111! I strongly recommend that you join DAN. Their insurance is amazing and you do not have to be a diver to join. I have been a DAN member since 1991 and do not regret a single penny paid them.
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Old 25-09-2012, 21:33   #45
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Re: Can You Share Your Medical Experiences Outside the United States or Europe?

Connie being a RN with ER experince, and Pedi- Er also, she is able to take care of me in most instances! those being from burns to broken fingers, and many cuts a few of which required stiches! We are also lucky as we have an extensive med kit, includeing drugs for many things !(it's good to have a Doc in the family-son in law) But there were some times when she needed care I could not give her! Once we used an ER in Belize,and found it to be as good or better then many Connie worked in anywhere, Us or anywhere else ! Doctors spoke english as did most of the nurses! care was great and the prices were plenty low enough that we could pay them out of our pocket !! and were supplyed with the drugs she needed right there !! All we can say is if we are around ya we or I should say she will help ya if she can, and don't worry so much about 3 world hospitals and doctors, cus most of them are just cheaper not worse then the ones at home in the US. Just our 2 cents
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