This is the best of times here at our little home in the Philippines. The bad storms are gone, it hardly rains at all, the days are hot .. but not candle-melting hot and the nights actually border on cool at times. And when I go out with Otto the Wonder Dog at around midnight, before we both go to sleep, there are strange bright points of light in the sky … I think they call them stars … most of the year you never see them at night through the clouds and murk. The brilliant stars of Orion’s belt are almost directly at zenith around midnight now .. he’s been marching into view over the eastern horizon, visible from time to time for several months now, and within another month will be replaced by Canis Major and the huge glaring eye of Sirius as Orion sinks further and further westward. It’s no wonder the Navajo people called Orion the “Keeper of the Seasons” because he always appears to usher in the new year and starts the cycle of seasons over again.
Hopefully this year’s one is already nearly resolved, but I thought I would write about it for you anyway, as I frequently get questions from readers about the prices of medical care here, how people protect themselves from skyrocketing costs, and what Americans can do to counteract the fact that Medicare (which sometimes seems the most powerful political force in the USA) does not provide coverage for US citizens living overseas. And of course, the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) doesn’t apply to me living here either … I’ve never even been on the infamous government care website.
Well let me set the stage by introducing you two a couple articles I wrote some years ago when my dear mother-in-law was still with us.
I’m including these as a sort of background to show you how different the medical pill buy provigil online scheme is here, how much more empowered you’ll be here, not being barked at by pushy administrators who act as if the own you because you are covered by their medical plan, and how little medical care really costs here. Take a few months to read:
and its follow-up, Christmas Medical Odyssey — Part 2
But those prices aren’t 2013 prices
No, indeed they are not. Let’s take a look at prices just outside the Metro Manila border in December, 2013.
A few days ago my wife woke up with pain in her side, pain upon urination and some other indicators that she probably had a problem with an infection.
Because of several reasons I won’t go into here, neither she nor I actually have what you would call a regular family physician. If we need to see a doctor, we normally do something which most American medical practitioners would throw a hissy-fit over. We just get in the car and drive to the emergency room at the local hospital. Which is just what we did.
I dropped my wife at the emergency room entrance, parked my car (free parking) at the other side of the hospital’s parking lot, and by the time I walked back in the door my wife had already been seen by the head nurse/triage nurse and was in the restroom (Comfort Room) producing a lab sample.
In five minutes a technician had run the sample to the lab (to speed things up) and my wife was instructed to walk (about 50 feet) to the Hospital Cashier and pay the lab test fee. She did this (P100 or about $2.26 USD at today’s rate), and then returned to her seat with me in the waiting area of the ER.
In a few minutes the messenger came in, placed a report on the doctor’s desk and in a couple minutes the doc called my wife over to discuss the report. he suspected she has a non-specific urinary infection. Standard vital signs and other indicators are all fine and his recommend course of treatment is a week on antibiotics, a pain killer and some natural diuretic medication followed by another lab test next week. Done. See you next week. Drum Roll Please: The Bill: P330, Emergency room and doctor’s professional fee. About $7.47 USD.
We were done in well under an hour, total. Drove to one of the many Mercury Drug stores on the short trip home and paid the expensive part. P1300 or about $29.40 USD for the three mediations. I’m very happy to report that my wife felt much better almost immediately after taking the pain medication, and everything “system-wise” seems to be clearing up fine.
As you can see if you read the background articles I linked to, not very much has changed at all in the past few years.
That amounts to the sum total my wife (and I) have spent in actual medical care for all of 2013 … thank the Good Lord.
Can you see now why we just don’t worry all that much about medical expenses in the Philippines. How much have you spent just in Medical/Hospitalization insurance in 2013 alone? Does paying the world’s highest prices for the world’s 37th best-rated medical care make you feel more secure? Good, that’s great, because everyone should operate at the level of comfort which makes them happy.
But for now, again, Good Lord willing, my wife and I will just keep trucking along here in our little “third-world’ paradise and investing the money we other wise would have given away to the insurance company legal masked highwaymen. And no malfunctioning government web sites or surly government employees have even been close to spoiling our days her. So many of my fellow Americans seem to be addicted to lining up for more and more of this treatment. I wish you the joy of it. To each his or her own.