"We used to say that the United States shared with South Africa the distinction of being the only industrialized nation without universal health insurance. Now we don't even have South Africa to point to."
(I'm better, by the way)
Thank all the goddesses for the Korean Healthcare system! As an "unemployed" non-citizen of South Korea (but on a legal transitional visa), I pay about $77 USD/month (109,00won) for health insurance, which is REQUIRED (unless you are a visiting tourist). This insures that everyone is insured! (heehee)
A friend got me an at-home RAT (rapid antigen test) that stated "negative". I went to my Doc yesterday after still feeling a lot of awful flu-like symptoms, though the fever had diminished. The current Korean Government protocols won't allow for a PCR test unless the RAT is positive, (which I find disturbing since RATs aren't 100% accurate according to several national health websites (verified) I visited), so no clinics would give me a PCR test.
My Doc doesn't really know the cause, so I received a diagnosis of "gastroenteritis"; there was obviously some kind of infection or fight by my immune system against something nasty, since I had a 102 fever overnight Saturday and multiple other symptoms (no respiratory symptoms thank all the goddesses!). I recall lying in bed, unable to sleep due to pain and discomfort, fever and chills, and visualizing the mobilization of my Immune Cells surrounding and attacking whatever it was. It helped! After my Doc surmised some form of unknown gastroenteritis and gave me 2 days worth of antibiotics and other pills to reduce pain and the gastro issues, he set me up with an IV drip. I hadn't been able to drink even water for most of Sunday, so the IV fluid served to rehydrate me. Well, within 3 hours of receiving IV fluids and taking the prescription meds, my stomach pain was gone, all over body pain gone, the gastrointestinal distress ended, and I felt better! I even had a bit of porridge for dinner and wasn't sick after! As of today (Wednesday morning). I still feel better, though a bit run down. I'm giving myself another day of self-care and convalescence, and I don't feel guilty about it at all!
For 2 hours at the Doc's office (they have a mini-hospital set up on site, treatment, xray, etc.), including a heated bed where I was able to rest quietly while the IV dripped, I paid the equivalent of $16 USD. The meds were $2.40 USD, including an extra box of aspirin I requested, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. The meds included 4 different pills taken thrice daily over two days, two days worth of liquid medicine. Pills are divided into dosage envelopes and numbered for ease. So each of the four different pills were in little plastic pouches, numbering 1 through 6, for the three doses daily, taken over two days.
Oh, and walking in without an appointment? I waited about 20 minutes in a full waiting room of more than 8 people. There were two people working reception, and 2-3 nurses assisting.
I love Korea!