Friday, April 4, 2008

Ninguem merece

Many people have asked me if Brazil has everything to offer that the States does. I give them a hesitant yes ... you can find pretty much anything here, but you might need to drive forever and pay an ear and a tonsil for it (as opposed to an arm and a leg.)

Take medical care. The majority of the people here are uninsured, which means they must go to public health care for medical needs - "Postos de Saude," or "Health Posts" are literally every few blocks. Steve and I joke that all they know how to do is give shots. Headache? Here's a shot. Bladder infection? Shot. Husband beating you? Oh, this injection will clear up the problem in no time.

The public hospitals are much the same. We've been to a couple in emergencies, and they were experiences we're not anxious to repeat. (Anecdote: I almost passed out one time ... after a shot, of course. They neglected to ask about or take my blood pressure, and the medicine they gave me lowers it considerably - I, who already have abnormally low blood pressure. Bytheway, I went in with strep throat.)

We did find a clinic that is near-ish for emergencies,
but for all vaccines, child well visits, and ObGyn appointments, we drive to Sao Paulo. We are currently praying that child #3 doesn't decide to be born during rush hour.
Today, the traffic was pretty good - I made it in just over an hour. There are days, however, that it takes almost three. Not to mention the pollution and overall stress of being in this 26-million-people-strong city, with slums ("favelas") and crime everywhere you look. ("No, Nathan, we HAVE to roll up the window when we're driving in Sao Paulo.")
And the river stinks, too.


heidizinha said...

it could be that bad here too....

my sis-in-law lives in ruby valley, nv, and the closest, best hospital is 1.5 hours away in elko. but, really if you want great care at an affordable price, you drive three hours to orem.

which isn't usually a problem, unless you're on your way to stay for a few days "before the baby comes" and your water breaks along the way. it makes it a LONG drive to the hospital.

but new baby livingstone made it just fine, and we can't wait to meet him tonight!

Megan, Peter, and Benjamin said...

Oh my! And I thought it was bad here in Canada! Yea, they have a Social medical system, but doesn't work very well when you have to wait two to three months to see the specialist that may help save your life! Craziness! Makes me so grateful for the medical service in the states and I would pay the money for the insurance any day in the states than deal with the medical system in Canada! Argh!! In other words, I feel ya!