Bring a book or calendar to the Caja

For many expats, the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social medical services is a great idea.

Others are burned up about the system.

To the last list, the name of Dave King can be added.  The Sabana Oeste resident wrote Thursday that he had to wait 22 days to get an appointment for a biopsy and then he was given an appointment for Oct. 9, 2018.

“That’s three years and seven months away,” he said. “I imagine that if I have cancer, it will be easy to detect by then. So much for preventive medicine. I am so happy that they are forcing me to pay into their system in order to keep my residency.”

He is not the first person to have this problem. There have been continual media reports of distant appointments. One report noted that pregnant women were being given ultrasound appointments 10 months in the future.

One taxi driver known to A.M. Costa Rica staffers suffered from what he thought was cancer. He also was given a distant appointment for a biopsy. But unlike King, the man raised such a fuss that Caja security had to escort him to the street.  A few days later a private physician fixed the man’s problem during an office visit.

Another story known to reporters involves the La Carit women’s Hospital where many new citizens are born. What is less well known is that women about to become mothers receive no pain medication unless a nurse slips them an aspirin.

In one case the husband of a woman having a prolonged labor picked her up and carried the woman to a waiting taxi and delivered her to Clinica Biblca’s emergency room. A physician there said he had saved his wife’s life and that of the new daughter.

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