Monday, 26 November 2018

Lisbon #4 - Where we test the Portuguese health system!


We had such plans for Lisbon. Museums to see, restaurants to sample, churches to visit. We’ve been able to do none of it.

Last Sunday, I fell in Vancouver airport trying to get into one of their too high people carriers – you know the ones I mean. They look like tanks and the step up into them is about 18 inches. I scraped my leg and actually punctured it.
By yesterday, five days later, it is badly infected and we had the experience of checking out the Portuguese Emergency Medical situation.

Portuguese health careI asked at the hotel desk about a doctor I might be able to get an appointment with and they assured me I should go to the hospital instead and register as a “private” not “public” patient. It was a long cab ride, almost to the airport to a big and quite new looking hospital complex. Once registered (and my credit card billed for 95 Euros) everything moved quickly and efficiently. It went in stages: blood pressure (way high) and temperature in one little cubicle; On to triage in the next; Then the doctor, an adorable young man with soft brown eyes and curly hair; Then the treatment room – bandaging and heavy antibiotics. They all gathered here to chat at the end. A delightful experience for us – and they don’t get many Canadians, so they were more than curious about the two old ladies traveling instead of staying home knitting.

Top kudos to the Portuguese medical system. And Thank God it didn’t happen in the US. The last minor accident I had there cost me over $3000 in Emergency Room fees.

I’ve been warned to keep the leg elevated as much as possible. It shouldn’t be hard to do that once we’re on the ship, tomorrow.

Our time in Lisbon has been low keyed, but we’ve had WONDERFUL food! Portuguese cuisine is very different from either French or Spanish and is largely based on seafood. We’ve eaten like kings every night for quite modest sums. After our first time, we were greeted like long lost relatives on all sequent visits to our favorite little restaurant around the corner from the hotel. And our lunches served by “Hugo” in the hotel bar have been a delight of little sandwiches and tapas. The thin sliced ham, like Italian Prosciutto is
especially delectable.

So in spite of my accident, and a week of rainy weather, we thoroughly enjoyed our time here. Jeanette braved the rain today to walk up the Liberdade as far as the Pombal Monument. A truly magnificent piece of sculpture dedicated to the man who re-designed Lisbon after the earthquake and tidal wave leveled it in 1755.





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Coming Soon!  

The Re-Launch of One of Blair's most popular books with more storyline and additional characters.


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Blair McDowell