Thursday, June 21, 2018

An experience with medical care in Ireland

My travelling companion on the Ireland trip had an eye problem that grew worse as the days went by, and a week into our trip on a Sunday afternoon, we looked for an urgent care center or whatever the Irish equivalent was. We found something listed on line but couldn't figure out how to call it, so we just went there. We were very glad to have a rental car and one with GPS because we knew nothing about the town except how to get to the supermarket.

It was a little house and we entered into what was clearly a waiting room and we could see an exam room to the left. A big man came out and asked if we had an appointment and we explained we didn't, that we were travelling and her eye needed attention. He tried to explain the set up to us, that we had to have an appointment through a clinic in a city 60 miles away, but finally he just called that clinic and my friend talked to a nurse and explained what was going on and that seemed enough to get an appt. The appt turned out to be right away (there was no one else in the building) and a young man came out a few minutes later from the exam room. He was 30-something, dressed in jeans and a fleece jacket and trainers. He'd have been right at home here in Portland.

He examined her eye and talked to her about her symptoms and told her she needed antibiotics and to get it looked at when she got home. My friend is a retired nurse and that was what she had suspected. He took down some information from her passport and asked for 65 Euros (about $77), which we paid in cash, and sent us off to a pharmacy right by the supermarket. The whole thing had taken about 25 minutes.

Given our knowledge of the complications and expenses of the American medical system, we were astonished. The prescriptions (ointment and pills) cost her $27. No hassles, no forms, just help. Amazing.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this story, Jill. It is like other stories I've heard from other Americans traveling abroad. When, oh, when will the "exceptional" USA join the rest of the civilized world in offering universal single-payer health care for its citizens?
--Jeff Stookey