Thursday, May 20, 2010

A trip to the doctor's

Plans here can change very quickly. Tomorrow is Buddha's birthday, so I have the day off. I was planning to go to Gyeongju, the capital of the Silla kingdom (which lasted until 935 AD). But last weekend I was sick, and as usually happens after I get sick, I ended up with an ear infection.

So on Tuesday I got my first insight into how the Korean health care system works. First off, there's no appointment necessary. And I didn't have to present any form of identification (though I did have to go with a Korean speaker, and maybe they just trusted his judgment).

Luckily the doctor spoke English. Ultimately, between the appointment and the pills it was only $25, and I'll be reimbursed for it. Kind of strange, though, that in Korea you don't just get one pill. You get a packet of random pills and no drug information telling you what it is. I know one of the pills in the normal antibiotic, but there are four others I'm taking three times a day that I'm unsure about.

The biggest issue is that they don't give you the full treatment, so I have to go back on Saturday to be re-checked and get the rest of the prescription. This means that I can't go out of town as planned. A bit disappointing, to say that least.

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