Getting sick in a 3rd world country isn’t that bad

One of the biggest concerns I had coming here was what happens when something goes wrong. When you are in a first world country you take for granted a few things in life. One of those is that if you get yourself in trouble you have government services that will back you up. Never is this more applicable than for sickness and injury. Yes, it may cost you money, but you know you have a nice clean and safe hospital around the corner. Not so much in a 3rd world country. Yes, they do have hospitals, doctors and pharmacists here, but it’s not the same. I read a lot of horror stories. Here’s one from around the web (Horror story 1). Do a Google search and you will find many many more.

My concerns didn’t obviously stop me from coming, but always played at the back of my mind. So, I thought I would tell you about a couple of my experiences when I needed medical attention. I’ve been pretty lucky and not had an emergency (which is good because the closest real hospital is 2 hours away!)

 

sling

 

Wrist Sprain

While doing some work in the garden I fell over and hurt my wrist. A neighbor drove me down the bumpy road to the local doctor who fixed me up and prescribed some great pain killers to get me through. He was friendly and did a great job. I wasn’t waiting too long and he seemed to know what he was doing (even spoke some English). He also asked me to come back for free one week after I saw him to make sure it was healing okay. I will comment here that the doctors office wasn’t exactly 1st world. It’s hard to explain, but it felt a little dirty. I’m glad it was only a sprain and I wasn’t in need of any treatment of a cut.

 

medicine

 

Just your standard stuff

The good news is that the pharmacists around Thailand are fairly well stocked. Not 1st world stocked, but enough to get you by. I’ve had your standard cold and flu medicine and pills to help with diarrhea. This stuff is straight off the shelf. Fantastic.

I’ve also had a hemorrhoid problem that I fixed up with Venapro. Worked fantastic and never had to go more than 1km from my house.

Yes, there is plenty available and you don’t have to rely on mailing in and out of the country (plus the potential issues getting mail here in the first place). While sending in food isn’t too bad, medicines is another matter. The last thing you want to do is be arrested over trying to import illegal drugs.

 

Overall it is still a bit of a worry, but you can’t spend your whole life worrying about everything otherwise all you will do in life is sit at home and not actually live.