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Public medicine

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Neck brace 32 RMB

CT scan 285 RMB

Hydrocodeine and Antibiotic 43 RMB

That was about $50 USD total. I can't help but wonder what that bill would look like in the states. And we're talking about with no insurance factored in. I'm going to be reimbursed for all of this.

The overall experience was similar to what I would expect in the states. We arrived in the ER and I was checked in using a photo of my passport from my phone. While I waited to see a doctor a nurse brought me a neck brace. Axel paid it for me. Just under $5 USD. My first thought is a hospital in the US would have charged me at least ten times that for the exact same thing. My doctor had very limited English, but Axel was able to translate well for me as we described what happened answering questions about pain and locations in my neck. The doctor completed a request for a CT scan and sent me on my way to the correct area of the hospital. However, I had to pay for it before getting the work done. Around $40 USD. Seriously? Again factor of 10? I can't know for sure.

When we arrived in radiology there was a digital board with patient names and numbers. I had a while to wait, but got shuffled through and instructed on where to wait for the results. It took about ninety minutes. There was a kiosk where we scanned a barcode and it printed out results. We then took this paperwork back to the original doctor and we talked about it. In the end he prescribed some medicines. I paid for them (about $6) and walked about 40 feet to find my meds waiting for me. No waiting at all. That was surprising. When I walked over to the pharmacy window a lady was waiting for me with the two boxes in her hand.

Overall the process was efficient. The doctors and nurses were polite and friendly. I'm glad I had Axel with me to translate. That would have been an entirely different experience without Axel. Reality? The rest of the civilized world crushes the states when it comes to medical care. Medical insurance exists because?

Writing while high on Hydrocodeine. I don't recommend it. It's been a weird two days. Keeping my fingers crossed that I'm a bit more mobile by next Monday when I have to lug around some heavy bags and sit in a plane for way too many hours.

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