General and Travels30 Oct 2006 08:15 pm

As my mom says, it’s not a family vacation until someone gets sick. This trip has been no different.

Within two days of arriving here in Phuket, my dad had gone to the emergency room at one of the local hospitals to receive treatment for his ear and sinus infection, in hopes of being able to take a SCUBA course. He was put on a course of antibiotics and has successfully beaten his illness. Within two days of that clearing up, my right eyelid started to swell up. By the end of the day, it had pretty much swollen shut and jokes about being a pirate ran rampant. In the morning, we decided to return to the town to visit another hospital. This time, the Phuket Bangkok International hospital, which is a private hospital. Check in was much like checking into a hotel, except they took my picture with a webcam. The time it took from the moment I walked in through the expensive frosted glass sliding doors into the soothing temperature controlled air of the hospital (now without that Sterile Smell(tm)!) until I got my bill and prescription was about 20 minutes. The total cost was just under $60 Canadian and most of that was my little shopping bag full of eye drops, eye salves and antibiotics. It was pretty amazing.

Anyhow, it was just a complicated eyelid infection, and it has since calmed down and ‘depuffed’. That is a relief since there was talk of having to return to have it lanced. While I am no fan of hospitals (who is?) I can honestly say I would not mind having to return there. There was a lovely coffee shop, automatic escalators that turned on as you approached them, beautifully decorated waiting areas with cushy suede couches (which would be prime for sleeping on as you waited for someone to come out of surgery or the like, which is kind of lost on the people visiting as your wait time does not seem to be very long) and 20 plus specialized departments.

Things have come a long way since the days of the dirt floored hospital my brother had to visit in Songkhla, Thailand over 15 years ago. In a land that has seen the slow introduction of western conveniences over the past decade, modern hospitals are probably the most welcome one.

3 Responses to “Emerge!”

  1. on 31 Oct 2006 at 8:15 pm 32-P

    Jesus. That’s some hospital! 🙂
    One of my uncles who still lives in Guyana had a major heart attack last weekend, so he drove himself to the hospital (no ambulances even in the capital city), where they took a look at him and sent him home with a lot of shrugging: “What do you want us to do?” It’s a very third world country… money seems to be the big difference between South America and Asia. My mom is trying to rustle up some siblings and funds right now to fly him to Trinidad, where more $ = better care.
    I hope your eye feels better soon, and when you come back, if you appear to be in reasonably good health, I shall buy you lunch. 🙂

  2. on 01 Nov 2006 at 8:28 am Design Monkey

    Good Lord. Hope you’re doing well and going to be going SCUBA diving soon.

  3. on 22 Nov 2006 at 1:44 am Tristen

    “In a land that has seen the slow introduction of western conveniences over the past decade, modern hospitals are probably the most welcome one.”

    Well, I imagine that this makes no difference to most Thai people as it is private hospital and most have to use public hospitals. (32% of Thai live on less than US$2 a day)