I've been sick for the last week or so with a persistent case of sinusitis (I assume). I kept hoping it would clear up on its own as I've heard mixed reviews of the medical treatment in Korea. Well, after waking up pretty much unable to breathe I decided I should high tail it to the doc's office and get some freaking antibiotics already to clear this baby up.
In Korea, they don't have doctor's offices, exactly. They have hospitals. What we think of as a hospital (with a 24 hour emergency room) they call big hospitals, so I'm told. It sounds weird to me to go to a hospital for a routine doc's visit, but at lunch today that's where I went. I was shocked.
The experience was awesome. The hospital was super clean, the staff friendly and helpful despite my limited Korean, and the doctor actually listened to my symptoms. He didn't explain as much as an American doc would (like about what he was prescribing and such), but I kind of knew to expect that. He kept checking to make sure I understood him when he spoke in Korean.
They sent me on my way to the pharmacy up the street. The medicine and doc visit together cost less than $10.
The medicine is a little scary since it's all mixed together broken up by breakfast, lunch, and dinner packets, rather than by medicine type, but again the pharmacist kept checking that I understood what I was supposed to do and was exceptionally friendly and helpful.
The only part of the whole Korean hospital experience I lacked was the requisite steroids shot in the butt. I'm torn between wondering what part of my ass is so offensive as to not warrant a happy shot and relieved that I didn't have to refuse it.
Best of all? I was done with both the doc visit and had the meds from the pharmacy in about 30 minutes. With no appointment.
Hey America! Listen up! What the heck is wrong with you and your broken health care system? Now it's time for my dinner pill pack--yummy!