A Visit to the Hospital

I always knew it had to happen eventually. I knew chances are pretty high that I'll get sick at least once on my trip around the world. Just imagine all the new foods, climates and bugs I've been exposed to during the last 6 months. Luckily, the most I had to deal with so far were minor stomach irritations from (to my Swiss palate) exotic food. Until now.

A few weeks ago I came down with a UTI. Back in Switzerland this would be pretty easy to deal with. If it doesn't go away with drinking lots of water, simply visit your family doctor and he'll take care of everything needed for you (lab tests, blood tests, prescriptions, etc.). Obviously, the situation is very different if you find yourself in a foreign country where you speak the language just enough to get by and have no idea how the health system works - as is the case for myself here in Lima, Peru.

After some trial and error I managed to get myself examined, diagnosed and received a prescription for an antibiotic that got rid of the bacteria responsible for the UTI. The process was a bit different from the once I'm used to in Switzerland but once you get it, it works quite well. Basically, it is a "pay-as-you-go" process. Every time you want to consult a medic or have to get blood tests done you receive a bill and then have to walk to the correspondent CAJA (pay desk), get a receipt for your payment and then present the medic or laboratory with the receipt and they'll start working.

In hindsight, I believe I should have consulted with a local friend or even brought someone along because it would have made the process easier and quicker. This is also what I would recommend to any traveler or expat. It doesn't always pay out to try to be independent...

Hospital - NicoLeHe  / pixelio.de


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