A Touch of the Spanish Health Care

Being that this latest trip has been in the middle of winter, there have been the normal, seasonal illnesses, which suck, but are expected. Just to make parental units happy, that meant going to Spanish doctors. Well, not me, but my proxy with the exact same symptoms as me. I just sat in the waiting room, observing Spanish health care at work.
Probably one of the biggest differences between the care in Spain and the care in the US is that you can actually get care in Spain as a foreigner and not the horrors that some <a href="idiots report, but good care. Visiting a relative in the bottom of the barrel, most basic, Social Security type hospital for those with no money showed a hospital that was vastly more modern than most I’ve seen in the US. It’s quite amazing what happens when you nationalize health care. Suddenly it becomes something for the public and officials are held to task if the hospitals are no good, since everyone needs them. As opposed to the US, where everything is concerned with the bottom line and so upgraded equipment is a rather low priority as it isn’t always profitable; not that the health of a nation should ever, ever be a lucrative venture as it for HMO’s and Big Pharma.
But, sitting in a smaller doctor’s office, the immediate thing I noticed was the atmosphere. Yes, everyone shouldn’t have been there, since they just had colds and were all coughing and wheezing, but despite this, the mood of the office was rather light-hearted. People actually felt good about being there. For starters, they knew that there was no way this was going to put them in to debt for the rest of their lives. In fact, if they have supplemental insurance, it costs them absolutely nothing for a visit. Compare that to any doctor’s office you’ve ever been in the US. Everything always runs late, even if you’re the first patient. People hate being there. People are cranky. People are complaining about how much the visit will cost. And lastly, people are only there because they really aren’t getting better. They held off going for as long as they could because they didn’t want to spend the money, they hate the arrogant doctors, and they hate how much any drugs will cost. In other words, that rather elusive term of “preventative care” actually exists in Spain. Oh yeah, the drugs are dirt cheap compared to the US and again, if you have supplemental insurance, somethings are mere pennies.
Sure, there are some bad sides as well. Stuff doesn’t really run on time, but I would say that they’re no worse at timeliness than the US. Another bad thing is that in the hospital, the cable tv is only if you pay, as you can see below. So, you see a lot of folks reading a great deal in the hospitals, which doesn’t bother me at all.
But, balancing out these small pains are the fact that after sitting in the office, the doctor prescribed my proxy who had the same symptoms as me with a double dose of the cold meds since it was obvious we both had the same thing and it was common sense. I mean, holy hell, common sense in a doctor, who would have thought?
A Touch of the Spanish Health Care