Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A spoonful of medicine

The system in Spain is quite different to that in England. You can buy prescription drugs over the counter at chemists as long as you have an original packet to show what you need. However, that is the expensive way to do it. It is much cheaper to go to the doctor and get a prescription.

There in lies the rub though. They do repeat prescriptions at 8:00am on Tuesdays which is very early for Pam. You have to be there on time to hand over the empty cartons of the drugs you want along with your medical card. When the doctor appears from his consulting room the crowd descend upon him. They obviously all want to be first to hand over their requirements. Twenty (or so) minutes later the doctor reappears clutching the prescriptions. Again the crowd descend upon him as though not being first is a matter of life and death. Each item has its own hand written prescription which is why the process takes so long.

The alternative is to make an appointment to see the doctor. Appointments can be made at more civilised times so that is a big advantage for someone like Pam. Apparently you do have to watch though because when your turn comes to go in to see the doctor nobody bothers to let you know. We are informed that the best plan is to look on the list and find out who is before you. Call their name and make a mental note of who they are. Then when they go in to see the doctor you know you are next.

Now the really good news: Pamela’s two prescriptions came to just over three euros = about two pounds ten pence. On prescription in England they would have cost thirteen pounds To have bought the drugs though would have cost about forty euros = just over twenty seven pounds..  

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