Tuesday, November 28, 2006

[state medical] still alive after they set the octopus on me

Who was the lady who muttered: "Men are wimps?"

Just got back from my first compulsory Russian state medical and count myself very, very lucky – just a bit of blood here and there, nothing worse.

They told me there were hundreds yesterday but today there were only five ahead in the line. Miss Gestapo in her jackboots and white cap snapped, “Follow me,” and I was mortified until the hard faced women on the desk behind began to laugh and berate her for being “slishkom gromko”, too loud.

Relief was short-lived because as I was being led away for execution, the women started shouting at me. I looked around at them, bewildered and they gesticulated at my winter boots. Ah, they wanted me to take them off. “Nyet, nyet,” they cried, jabbing fingers at a pile of plastic galoshes which go over the boots.

So, to cut a long story short, all seems fine but I - do – not – not - like probes and needles and when they started attaching giant octopus suckers to all parts of the body, the wires leading to a battery, I had to draw the line. “Electro-shock, da?” I asked which was the wrong thing to ask ’cause the girl was controlling the dial and she had a wicked smile on her face.

S’pose I have an irrational fear of clinical, sterile rooms, gurneys and electrical equipment and try to give hospitals and any other remotely medical facility a wide berth. Always felt that’s where I’d end up once the 4th player finally got to me. Either there or in a Grand Temple with the Ascended Brothers. So, still alive and reporting with just a touch of rhinitis and bronchitis. Could be worse. Could be much, much worse.

By the way, we have minus 15 today and beautiful sunshine. What about you?


Gavin Ayling said...

What is the point of these compulsory medicals? How does the Russian health service compare to the UK and is it free at the point of use?

Ellee said...

And what happens if you don't go for your appointment?

james higham said...

Both good questions. The thing about the state medical today, despite my attempt at a jaunty post, is that it is free. Absolutely without a rouble to pay. I glanced at a US site to get a photo for the post and they were advertising the same battery of tests for $1050. If I hadn't gone on the last available day today, I'd have had to have paid western prices at a series of special clinics over a period of weeks. The 'having of a medical' is compulsory rather than being there today. As to free medicine, yes it is available but the queues are British in nature and most people, now more affluent than before, prefer to pay for better service and materials e.g. fillings at 'platnaya klinika', pay clinics. Health insurance is still in it's infancy but it's coming. Do you both mind if I run much of this as a post?

Ellee said...

That's very interesting, so yes, go for it.