Saturday, 5 January 2008


Is, apparently, a particularly cruel thing to wish upon anyone. As I discovered.

I actually had big plans for the New Year - sorting out Hebrew classes, working out a writing timetable for the next few months, hunting for gainful employment - but instead, I have been flat on my back, breathing through my mouth, trying hard not to suffocate in my sleep and cursing all and sundry.

Eventually, I went to see a doctor. I am not yet eligible for Bituach Leumi - 180 days after getting my resident's visa, and that does not include any days spent out of the country during the intervening period - but fortunately, the better half had the presence of mind to force me to take out health insuarance. 

So I telephone the health insurance company (Harel, since you ask, and I recommend them to anyone), and half an hour later I have an appointment set up for later that morning.

Just like that!

The GP looks into various orifices (poor man), decides that I have suffered enough and prescribes antibiotics. He sends me off to a pharmacy round the corner that would honour my insurance, and wishes me well. And the receptionist smiles at me on the way out too.

Needless to say, I am a little stunned. I have lived in two countries (Nigeria and England) where public health care is, at best, variable, and to be treated swiftly, efficiently and with a smile is a bit of a shock.

And the drugs seem to be working too.

Suddenly, I am all in favour of health insurance..

I think I like the system here.

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