Due concern over a recurring physical problem, I had a medical procedure performed yesterday. As mentioned in an earlier post, quality health care in the Philippines is remarkably inexpensive as compared to the same level of care in the U.S. (see my post "The Future of American Medical Care Lies in--Asia?) I had a private room in a first rate hospital, the daily charge for which is about $53 USD. The doctor's fee for performing the the procedure, an endoscopic examination: about S200, anesthesiologist' fee, approx $70.
My only regret about having such an examination is the timing. This is Holy Week, during the latter part of which (beginning today, Thursday local time) almost all businesses and public services are closed. (See my post "The Day The Philippines Stands Still" ). So personal business matters and errands that I would normally move up to an earlier day of the week during this period could not be taken care of as I checked into the hospital on Tuesday and was not released till yesterday. Fortunately, my wife was able to take care of some of my tasks, but inasmuch as the hospital requires the patient to have a companion when checking out, she was also prevented from completing some of these items, not to mention her own agenda.
Furthermore, In general, medical offices and clinics are also shuttered for the rest of the week. So if I won't know the outcome of the examination until next Tuesday, and if I encounter complications as a result of this endoscopy, I will have to wait until Monday to contact my doctor or in a worst case scenario, go to the E.R. Can you imagine how crowded such a facility would be on a four-day week-end in this overcrowded megalopolis?
The moral of the story is that if you're going to have an elective medical procedure here in the Philippines, try to avoid slating it during Holy Week or right before any other major holiday such as Christmas. The resulting aggravation from not having access to follow-up support for several days and the frustration of having to juggle your schedule may be hazardous to your health.