(Contributed by Rhonda)
This weeks lesson reminds me how important it is for anyone traveling to the United States to make sure that they travel with medical insurance.
American medical system is one of the most expensive in the world.
Doctors fee, hospital fees and medicine is expensive and if you had to be admitted into the hospital while traveling it could wipe out your entire savings.
American medical system is different in that doctors have their own offices. They are affiliated with a hospital but before being admitted into the hospital you just go to a doctors office first. Of course in a real emergency you can go to the emergency room but trust me when I say that will cost you.
Recently in America they have added 24 hour medical clinics. Here a doctor or physician assistant is on duty. They can see you and prescribe medicine if needed and send you home. Paid you are seriously ill they will send you directly to the emergency room. If you need to see a doctor the next day they can make an early morning appointment with a doctor for you.
A few years ago a student from my city here traveled to the USA and suddenly became ill. He had a brain tumor. He was rushed by ambulance to a local E/R then transported by helicopter to a big city hospital. He then had emergency brain surgery . His parents and grandparents were flown over to be with him. He was in the hospital for 3 months before he could fly back to Japan and at which time he needed special arrangements for a nurse and medical team to fly back with him. The entire hospital stay , doctors fees , parents and grandparents tickets ,hotels and meals were all paid for. Without the travel insurance his family would be broke today.
Some other differ ex in medicine in the USA is that ambulance drivers are highly trained and skilled and will start to treatment in the ambulance while talking to a doctor by phone.
Medicine is very expensive and doctors do not easily give out antibiotics. For simple illnesses such as a common cold most people go to a drug store and buy OTC ( over the counter drugs). They are usually very cheap. medicine always comes in capsule or tablets never powder.
Hospital stays are very short and people will be sent home quickly to recover.
Again doctors see patients in their office which is not in the hospitals and every exam is very private and the doctors will take their time with you.
If you are admitted into the hospital you will say I am “in ” the hospital. If you are visiting someone you will say I am “at ” the hospital. A good way to remember this is the Japanese word にゆういん so ” in” !
Last we take medicine not drink medicine.
So please please please if you travel spend the little extr to protect yourself and buy the travel insurance.
Too your health and safety.