Some months ago I got a telephone call from a gentleman representing a health insurance company. He said that for 25,000 colons a month, (about $50) which I could simply add to my Internet and cable bill with Tigo, I could have a consulto with any of several specialists at Clinica Biblica as often as I needed at no cost. He assured me that all I had to do was call them, the insurance company, when I wanted my appointment and they would make it. After a couple more calls from the gentleman, I agreed. I have always liked the Clinica Biblica, at least the old Clinica Biblica, because two doctors there once saved my life.
After about three months on the plan. I decided I should see a dermatologist about some disturbing mole-like spots. I called the insurance company.
They told me I needed to see a general practitioner first. I balked. They turned me over to a doctor in the company. and I explained that I did not need a doctor to tell me I needed to see a dermatologist. He agreed. And quickly I made an appointment. How easy was that!
My appointment was made with a dermatologist in the new tower, and happily, in a section labeled Derma Laser. I checked in with the receptionist, who knew all about my insurance coverage, and within 10 minutes I was in the doctor’s office. How easy was that!
The doctor’s assistant took my medical history, of course. And then the doctor came in and we shook hands. He was charming and even spoke English.
I explained my problem and showed him two of the moles. He looked and said they could be pre precancerous (I think he said that). Then he took an instrument out and squirted the two spots, and I showed him another on my back and he squirted that. I started to tell him that there were more, but he was putting away his machine. He gave me a prescription to put on the spots he had treated, and I was dismissed.
I showed my prescription to the receptionist and started to explain that I had insurance for the appointment. She smiled and said that the insurance covered the visit, but that the treatment was 40,000 colons. “You mean the insurance just covered the handshake?” I said. She did not respond. Instead, she told me that the prescription was 3,000 colons. Now, how easy was that — for them?
As I left the hospital I wondered how many of us have our medical histories in dozens of doctors’ files going nowhere, or are the files in the circular ones next to their desks?
Once home I called the insurance agency and told them I would like to cancel my membership, please. “No problem,” they said.” I didn’t expect it to be that easy. Ah, well, I didn’t send any money to a friend stranded in Africa and desperately needing my help.
I still have Caja, and I would rather sit with a book and wait for an appointment with a doctor who will either take the time to check out more than just the obvious, or if he or she doesn’t, at least I know it is not going to cost me any more than my monthly membership and I can go back for free.
Now that that is settled, I must add my two cents to the emerging Syrian sideshow: the dueling pens between President Putin of Russia and Sen. McCain of the U.S.
After Putin’s remark in an editorial that thinking that one is exceptional is a bad idea, Senator McCain took pen in hand and writing to the Russian people, gave Mr. Putin a piece of his mind and a general run down of all of his past as well as present misdeeds, stressing the worst – that of Putin’s support for a dictator like President Assad of Syria who uses chemical weapons.
I just hope that Putin’s pen has run dry and he won’t be able to remind Sen. McCain that the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein and Iraq in their war against Iran, from 1982 until 1988, during which time Iraq used chemical weapons killing and crippling tens of thousands of Iranians.
Sometimes, Senator, politicians should not dip their pens into the past.