Sunday, November 23, 2008

Doctor, Doctor

I had to visit a doctor this week. I won’t bore you with the details suffice to say for a few hours I had a foot the size of an elephant’s (so much for wearing flat shoes my whole life) caused by inflamed tendons. A treat!

All healthcare is private here – in fact it’s a legal requirement that your employer provides you with as part of your package. I duly found a doctor about half an hour away from home (this is super convenient here in Dubai) actually named ‘The French Clinic (receptionists were French, doctor was not.)

I had a straightforward chat with the doctor – but the main difference from the UK was this: there was no rushing me out of the door as there would have been in the UK. The doctor was very chatty – we had along talk about his daughter and her career choices, but the piece de resistance was this: at the end of my appointment (half an hour) he took out his business card, wrote his mobile number on it, and handed it over to me. “Please, call me in five days and let me know how you are,” he said. And he meant it.

He was quite bemused as I chuckled away, and I had to explain that getting into see a doctor in the UK required James Bond like skills and persistence. And you certainly don’t have the mobile phone number of the doctor at the end of it! I guess the old adage is true: you get what you pay for. Oh, and my foot has returned to a normal size. But I still have to wear trainers to work. The glamour never ends.

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