More on Brazilian Medicine

I am not a hypochondriac. I promise. It’s just that according to the decree of the to socialist/statist labor law, each employee in my company is obliged to do an annual medical check. And apparently,  it’s impossible to do this in one procedure because just like everything in Brazil, even your annual check-up is a bureaucratic pipeline.

Upon the referral of my doctor’s referred doctor, I had to arrange some medical tests in a special clinic. This is how I returned to Brownstein, which is the McDonald’s of medical clinics here in Rio de Janeiro area. These diagnostics clinics are spread across town, and for any procedure beyond the most simple one, every doctor ends up sending you there. There is a call center one has to call and wait and wait and wait, until finally, someone screams at you on the phone and if you say the right password (like “sesame open”, or “samba carioca”), they finally agree to book you an appointment at their most inconvenient location at your most inconvenient time.

I was lucky today, because when I arrived to the clinic and took my number to wait in line, I almost immediately was summoned to the countered and spent half an hour dictating my personal information that I had already provided on the phone. Then, I  asked to add another exam I had to come back for the next day since the phone-nazi would not agree to schedule both on the same day. As it turned out, the receptionist was much more agreeable and started screaming across the room to her colleague – “heyyy!! this girl is here for a transvaginal exam, can she also do a mammography ???”, “What??” ,”You know? a breast scan!!”. The colleague was kind of deaf so my new friend had to repeat about 5 times, so that everyone present both inside and on all adjacent streets could hear. Thank god that I have no shame. This could totally be part of a friend’s episode. I was extremely happy with the service since no one even once told me “please wait here” and I was out in under an hour. It’s amazing what Rio does to one’s expectations.

I had yet another entertaining supermarket anecdote. As always, I did my purchases and proceeded to the express check-out, as always with more items than the allowed amount. The cashier started scanning my items and as he was on No. 6 or so he says to me: “you have more than 10 items, this is the 10 items register”. Me: “hmm.. I guess so.. so what do you want me to do?”. Him: “I will scan 10 items and close the bill, then I will scan the rest”. Me:”ok…”. So as promised, the guy counted 10 items, closed the bill, I paid, and then he did a whole new bill for the remaining 6 items and I paid again!! I shall say no more..

 

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