Friday, November 14, 2014

Public Health Care In Hong Kong.

Yesterday I had our first experience with the public health care here in Hong Kong. As a family we have intentionally chosen to not purchase additional health insurance beyond what is offered in this country.

This was my second attempt at finding the clinic. My first attempt had resulted in being turned away after I was told the building only serviced students and the elderly. Apparently I didn't fall into either category.

I was searching for a medical answer to a problem I was having with my knee. Out of pure carelessness I jammed my knee on the corner of a moveable dresser. That was over a month ago, and the pain hasn't gone away. I was worried there might be internal damage to the knee.

I ended up going to the right clinic as a spur of the moment decision late in the day. Fortunately, I was able to walk in and take the last appointment. And as I sat down in the waiting room after triaging in, I was immediately taken back to the days I worked at the Myrtle Beach Health Department on 21st Avenue giving out nutrition advice to children, infants, as well as prenatal and postpartum mothers. Blue plastic chairs were set up in rows. Other clients were coughing into the air without bothering to cover their cough. I was scared to touch anything for fear of the germs I just imagined were waiting to infect my body.

After being told where to go and what to do, I was seen by a doctor after waiting for an hour.  Your number would flash on the screen and each person would knock politely on the brown wooden door before walking in. When my number showed up on the screen, I was the only one left sitting in the blue plastic chairs. I politely knocked before I entered the room, and then I sat down in a metal beside the doctor who was seated at a desk with computer on it. I was impressed with how thorough he was in looking at my knee. I received the answers I needed regarding my knee and walked out of the clinic.

The total cost of seeing the doctor was $6.00 USD. That would be completely unthinkable if we were still living in the United States.    

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