Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Hospital with Mrs. Jeon

The stomach pains hit me so quickly that I almost had to leave class.

I had felt some minor grumbling all morning, but it was nothing out of the ordinary. Luckily, I had just assigned my students some group work for the last ten minutes of class, so I had the chance to sit down and recover.

When class ended, I approached Mrs. Jeon and explained that I may need her to take over if I had to leave unexpectedly. She sat me down, pulled out a notepad, and asked me to list out all of my symptoms in as much detail as possible. With the list in hand, she beckoned me to follow her to her car (I tried to tell her that I would be fine, but she insisted), and we drove off to the hospital in Bunam together.

Luckily, the receptionist was one of her old students. She made sure that within minutes, we were sitting in an office speaking to a doctor.

The whole process in his office took no more than five minutes. He wrote me a prescription for some medication (one was to help me digest food, one was for the stomach pains, and one was an anti-spasmodic to help slow down intestinal processes), which we brought to the receptionist, and she handed us the meds from a drawer beside her desk. The total cost: $3.50.

Every country has its ups and downs. In Canada, we have free healthcare (although the wait times can drive people a little nuts), our neighbors to the south have access to the best technology (but it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg to use it), and Korea spoils its populous with cheap medication. If you really want to debate which system is best, feel free to post your opinion as a reply…

- Ken

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