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Friday, 10 October 2008

Hospitals in Tenerife

Last week I had a pain on my right arm. The pain started from my shoulders and walked slowly down to my elbow and then gripped my arm. My sedentary life of just sitting in front of a shiny glass, seeing the virtual world pass by, was playing tricks on me. I needed exercise. I realised that I am not going for long walks, nor doing any manual work. I was just eating and stuffing my body with spicy food and letting the body do all the work. My body was sending signal for help. I needed to see the doctor. Thus began my trips to Tenerife hospitals. I got the appointment to see the doctor for consultation after one full week and was able to see him at his clinic after one hour wait. The doctor is quite efficient here and he spends lot of time, examining me. I am afraid of his pronouncing a heart disease. I have a family history and I am damn scared to go through an operation of any kind. He prescribes me blood and urine test and direct me to the heart specialist. Two days later, I reach the hospital at 8am for my blood test. The hospital is clean and spotless filled with people who are well dressed. Spanish people pay lot of attention to the details and would never be seen shabbily dressed at any hour of the day. There is a ticket counter on the wall of the clinic, where you pluck out your number. You sit relaxed staring at the counter on the opposite wall, waiting for your number to flash your turn. The blood test and the urine test arrive to your home by fax. There is a sharp rise in my cholesterol and sugar and it is difficult to get an appointment for heart specialist. I am told to report to hospital without an appointment under emergency case. The heart specialist visits the hospital only once a week. After four days, I am back in the hospital, at 8am, this time outside heart specialist clinic. There are about twenty people waiting for the doctor to arrive, many of them with the appointment done three months in advance. We wait for two hours but doctor does not arrive. Finally, at 10am the nurse apologizes for the absence of doctor to work and advises us to secure a new appointment for the next week, which might already have thirty patients on his waiting list. Disappointed and pursed lipped, the heart patients head back home, without any secured treatment or consultation. I head towards a costly private clinic-

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