Going to the doctor is never fun, but obviously necessary once in a while. When you are in a different country, it can be even more complicated, especially when the health system is so different. First at all, it is complicated depending on how fluent a person is in a language, to fill out a lot of forms with technician terms about your health. The doctor’s terms are complicated in our own language, imagine in a different one! However, I didn’t have a hard time filling out the forms, I might also confess that my inseparable best friend follows me wherever I go: Google translate app…haha.
Some other thing that is very different is the health system by its own. In America to be able to go to the doctor, you have to pay no matter what. Even if you have a health insurance, besides the monthly payment, you have also to pay co-pays –or the full price depending on what kind you have- when you go to the doctor, when you do exams or when you go to the hospital.
In Brazil, we have private health insurances and public health. In the private one, you usually have a monthly payment and that’s it. You don’t have to pay anything else when you visit the doctor or do whatever other procedure. Imagine how I felt when I realized that here I would have to pay for everything! In the public health you don’t pay anything, in our taxes that’s a part that is destined to health. It includes everything: maternity, exams, doctor’s visit, and even surgery. However, nothing is as good as it seems to be. There are some cities where the hospitals are too crowded, and there is a lack of doctors, medications and the wait to an appointment can take six months.
Even with all the problems, the population have an option when they can’t really afford to pay a private one. The public health insurance is not as efficient as it should be, but at least it is there if you need it, and it’s comforting to know that. And I’m sure it could be so much better if all the money destined to health would really used to that, instead of being diverted. But this is the subject for another topic…