Getting Prescriptions & Small Health Issues Resolved While Traveling.

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When staying at four/five star hotels they normally have a contracted doctor that can come to see a hotel guest. This is a good option if the guests feels really bad and is willing to pay for the privilege. Over the years I have used this kind of service few of times.

During my current trip I have needed to get prescriptions or to see a doctor three times. These have all been non-urgent and I have gotten to see in two of the three visits how the local access the healthcare system. Not bad at all.

Mexico City

In May, when I was in Mexico City, I started to have problems with my tonsils. I have had this quite a few times over the years and normally always carry some antibiotics with me so that I can self-medicate. This time, however, I didn’t have any left.

At the time I was staying at the JW Marriott. Spoke with a concierge who suggested that he could call the doctor come to a visit and that the fee would be $100. Luckily, I have friends living in Mexico City who suggested that I should pay a visit to one of the Farmacias Similares that have doctor on hand that can write a prescription. The closest location was about a ten minute walk from the hotel. The doctor’s office was simple but sufficient. The bill for getting a prescription was couple of dollars. The prescription could then be filled at the adjacent pharmacy

This was excellent way of getting a simple prescription. It was very fast and affordable.  I would not use them, however, for anything more serious.

Bali

I had some sort of allergic reaction while at the W Bali and needed to see a doctor to get some cortisone lotion etc. This hotel had an in-house doctor but the price sounded rather high. Then the concierge suggested that I should visit the nearby Bali Clinic.

Unlike the shop on Mexico City this clinic was clearly aimed for tourist. It was nice, clean. Got my cortisone shot and some antihistamines.

Dubai

An ingrown hair had caused bit of an infection that was becoming more uncomfortable that I could handle. I was staying at the Sheraton Dubai Creek hotel and spoke with the concierge. The first suggestion was that they have in-house doctor that charges 500 AED for consultation. I asked what other options there would be close by.

I was guided to visit a local clinic where the consultancy should cost around 50 AED.  The clinic had seen its best days probably ten years ago but it was sufficient. A nurse had a look at the problem. Then I was advised that the doctor who handles these has moved to their new location. Luckily they had free transportation between the two.

The new Ambar Clinic was very modern. They had been open only for a month. The receptionist took down my details and soon I was issued a patient card size of a credit card. Nurse first took down the basics i.e. temperature, blood pressure etc. Then I saw the doctor who had been working on the medical field for the past 30 years or so.

Soon my case was diagnosed and couple of options offered. I decided to take care of the issue rather immediately than trying to let it heal by itself that might take a week or so. A small operation was then performed.

The bill for all this was 450 AED. Less than what the hotel doctor would have charged for the basic diagnostic. The following day I went for some further cleaning/checkup. This only cost me further 50 AED.

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