Stuff happens…The cost of medical care and prescriptions in South Africa…Astounding facts…

In South Africa, prescriptions are dispensed in plastic packs in these boxes, not in bottles.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Is this a white-crested seedeater?  Please correct me if wrong.

Over the past week, I had an odd discomfort in the front of my right shin, but I didn’t notice any insect bites or injuries. It wasn’t itchy, just painful when I wore anything touching it.

Yesterday morning I awoke to added pain and noticed a raised red circle-like bump the size of a small lemon. I wondered if it was an infection or, more problematic, some blood clot. One can’t be too careful when finding such a thing.
 
I didn’t give it much more thought until we were on our way to the grocery store in Komtipoort while wearing shorts and noticed the redness had increased in a few hours. Since we were heading to Komatipoort anyway, Tom suggested we stop at Dr. Theo’s office and see if he could see me without an appointment. It was close to noon.
This is the receipt for yesterday’s doctor appointment, total cost ZAR (rand) 565 (US $38.24).

After waiting about only 20 minutes at most, Dr. Theo brought me into the exam room. I so appreciated him squeezing me in. Their office with several physicians is bustling, with appointments booked as tight as possible. These quality physicians have quite a following.

After carefully and diligently checking my leg, he assured me it was definitely not a blood clot and most likely an infection. If treated early enough, it could avoid the necessity of taking antibiotics. He prescribed a cream that was to be applied twice daily.  

In the past 24 hours, after only three applications of the cream, its already begun to improve, although there still is some redness. If it doesn’t continue to improve over the weekend, antibiotics may be necessary.

It’s dirty here…lots of dirt and dust constantly flying through the air, especially when the wildlife kick up more and more land from the garden when they visit.  Even the slightest scratch could become infected under these conditions.

The ZAR 49.95 (US $3.38) listed on this receipt was for the two tubes of cortisone cream the doctor prescribed.  The ZAR 1224.49 (US $82,68) balance was for the entire batch of prescriptions, enough to last for four months.

While visiting with Dr. Theo, I asked for prescriptions for the three medications I take and have for years. Here in South Africa, many drugs can be purchased over the counter in small amounts. But, for a several-month supply, a prescription from a local doctor must accompany the purchase.

None of my three medications are narcotic, thus making it relatively easy for a doctor to write a prescription. As mentioned in yesterday’s post describing “what to bring for an African safari,” we breezed over drugs. If you missed that post, please click here.

We were both thrilled over the low cost of the doctor’s appointment and the costs of the prescriptions. Next week we’ll return to the pharmacy for two more month’s supply for the three medications. They had to order them. Then, I’ll have enough for six months.  

Itemization for the three prescriptions, sufficient for four months.

Before we leave South Africa, either in November or February (depending on our immigration status), we’ll try for another six-month supply even if we have to go back to the doctor for the required appointment. At only ZAR 565 (US $38.24) for the appointment, it’s undoubtedly worthwhile.

I become frustrated when medical issues arise and sometimes hesitate to mention them here. But I do. Many of our worldwide readers are traveling or contemplating traveling, and any information we can provide when “things go wrong” may be helpful.  

It’s all a part of our continuing transparency and commitment to our readers to “tell it like it is” with no fluff, no minimizing, no exaggerating…plain and simple, the facts, keeping in mind we do tend to get excited when nature unfolds before our eyes.

Speaking of nature unfolding before our eyes, I need to wrap this up. We’re getting ready to head out for our daily drive to see what more treasures we can encounter in this magical place.

May events in your life bring you excitement and enthusiasm.

Photo from one year ago today, September 14, 2017:

This mom and her calf are our neighbors in this gated community of Roco Verde in Costa Rica. For more photos, please click here.

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