One of the nice things about being Brasilian is the free healthcare.
We got to test it out last night when we took Gabi to the community hospital. Her fever had come back with a vengeance, and along with her cold and vomiting, we just wanted to make sure that it wasn't something else. Like malaria or meningitis.
(A mom's mind wanders to things like malaria when in a foreign country with a sick child!)
We walked up to the registration desk and got Gabi signed in. Not even a minute later we were ushered into the back to see a pediatrician. She sent us for x-rays, which were immediately developed and handed to us to take back. After looking at the x-rays, a prescription was written, and we were on our way! In all, about 25 minutes.
My BIL told me it's different for adults, who often have to wait 8 hours or more to be seen. But children are considered top priority and seen right away. It's why my in-laws also have private health insurance and get to go to the swanky hospital.
Despite the great care, it was still shocking to see the condition the hospital was in. Plaster was peeling off the walls, used paper towels that hadn't made it into the trash bin were scattered on the floor in the exam room. The lighting was terrible, and there wasn't a computer in sight.
It was also strange to see all the hospital workers, including the doctors and techs, wearing street clothes. The pediatrician was even wearing flip flops!
But free is free. If we hadn't been satisfied with the care there, we had planned to go to my in-laws' hospital and pay out of pocket. I'm so glad that wasn't necessary.
At the pharmacy, we got Gabi's three prescriptions (an antibiotic for her sinus infection, a fever reducer and an expectorant for all the snot inside her) and I had to make a chart when we got home to keep track of when to give her each one and how much! One is every eight hours, one is every twelve, and the last is every six, each with different doses.
Gaib is already feeling much better, and I can now relax knowing she didn't pick up some mosquito transmited tropical disease while we were at my BIL's beach house. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that she's free of snot by the time we get on the plane to go home next Monday. Planes and sick kids do not mix well.