This morning my long term girlfriend, Rox, suffered her first asthama attack in over six months, here in Escazu, a suburb of the capital city of San Jose. We had just come back from vacationing in moist, hot weather in Bocas del Toro, Panama to rainy, chilly weather in San Jose. Where we live, in Guanacaste, the weather is hot but dry, so asthma problems had been history.
Anyway, it´s seven in the morning, Rox can´t breathe, and off we go to a "doc in a box" provided free by the Costa Rica state run health care system. Only problem is, the doctor won´t be in until 10:30, according to the nurse on duty. Wait. And the traffic to San Jose will take at least half an hour, maybe much more. Instead, we drive five minutes to CIMA hospital, an outstanding private hospital in Escazu affiliated with Baylor. They run the credit card, make us wait less than three minutes, and begin treatment with oxygen and an inhaler filled with something that clears up the bronchial tubes. Four treatments of this, and we are out before 9:00 a.m. Total bill for private medical care, provided by going to the emergency room, $46.64. That included an 8% discount by presenting our PriceSmart wholesale club card.
So, we get back to the bed and breakfast where we are staying, I turn on CNBC, and there is Barack Obama with his speech on reforming the U.S. health care system. Hmmmm. Time will tell. Hope so.
In our case, we had a choice between free government run health care (wait 3 1/2 hours, but the price is right), or outstanding private care for under $50.
Do any of you in Canada or the U.S. have similar stories? How does our experience compare?