We made our first visit to the medical clinic. The visit was for me. No details necessary, we’ll suffice it to say that I knew I needed an ultrasound. (Too much past experience with this issue!)
First, let me back up and tell you about the car ride over. We had scheduled a ride with Transportation because it is cold and I’m not feeling well. The van arrived as scheduled and the driver asked me where we were going. I told him, “the S.O.S. Clinic.” He didn’t understand, so he asked again and then called the main office. They were confused too. I told him, “Doctor, medical, clinic.” He was still confused, until I wrote it down hoping that he’d recognize the word. “Oh,” he said, ” Sos Medica.” Oh, Sos, huh? ;o)
So, we arrive at Sos Medica and I fill out the paperwork. I didn’t know the numbers I needed to know, but they said, “never mind, you work for R*io T*into. We know the numbers.” Oh, okay!
Then, I wait in the waiting room for about 30 seconds. Just long enough to pull out my iPad and open my book. The nurse escorts me to the nurses aid station and she takes my temperature and my blood pressure. I have to ask if I can weigh myself (something I haven’t done since I arrived here) and I am right! I’ve lost seventeen pounds! She then escorts me to the room where the Dr. will see me… but, he’s already there. Waiting.
I explain the issue that I’m having and we pull up my old test results (gotta love IHC putting them online for us!) Within 5 minutes (and that is with super slow internet) he agrees that I need an ultra sound.
This is where the surprise happens. He turns and says, “Lets go do an ultrasound.” What? Right here and now? In the States I had to wait several weeks to get an appointment!
So, we walk down the hall and he leaves me with the Ultrasound tech. She is really nice, speaks fantastic English and is chatty! She tells me that my shirt is too high and asks me to remove it. She makes no effort to move or to get me a gown, so, I take off my shirt. Just me, the ultra sound tech and my bra! ;o)
She then proceeds to do the ultra sound, and while she is doing it she is telling me everything she sees. She even turns the screen so that I can see. Holy cow! I expected the usual, “the Dr. will call you with the results.” No, not that at all. I knew all the details before she was finished.
When I walked out the door the Dr. was there waiting for me! He chatted with the tech for a minute or two right there in front of me (in Mongolian though) and then took me back to his office. He asked me if I needed a prescription or if I was okay treating at home (this one) and then sent me off into the world.
At the front desk I was told that the Dr. visit was $60 USD, but that my insurance paid for it. Then I was told that the ultrasound was $30 USD and that my insurance didn’t pay for that! So, I paid $30 USD total and walked out. My co-pay in the US would have been $20 for the Dr. and $20 for the ultrasound and another $20 to get the results. My insurance would have then been charged THOUSANDS of dollars more!
For less than $100 USD and an hour of my time, I got an ultrasound (on request) and a Dr. who really listened to me. Ah, the free market! What a concept!