As expected, there are naturally a number of challenges one has to face when one requires medical treatment out here in the middle of nowhere.
Hubby managed to shatter a lense of his specs. This is pretty much a disaster out here as there is no optometrist to run off to immediately. After a couple of weeks surviving with his old prescription safety glasses, a bunch of optometrists arrived at the mine to measure people up for their new safety specs. For the life of me, I can't remember how long those will take to arrive but it is a good few weeks. I was shocked. Apparently the optoms will be hitting the town shortly too so hubby will be able to pick new ordinary frames and have them fitted in terms of his new script. I think I'd better get myself one of those tiny screwdrivers optoms use just to make sure precious, teeny weeny screws stay firmly in place at all times. (Mmm .. eBay???) Those old pairs of specs lying around have all gone up in value!
We met another South African on the weekend ... tons of them here ... and she told us that they don't set bones here. Break an arm or leg and it is off with the Royal Flying Doctor with you! Quite drastic! I guess wrapping us all up in bubblewrap isn't a solution.
Apparently orthodontists do things differently out here too. I quote ... they are described as 'backward' using old technology and that is in Perth. This is pure hearsay but maybe if you are thinking about coming out here with a child in braces, perhaps send them for a tune up (or whatever it is they do) before you come out here. This might be a useful tip for you and save you much despair. This family was actually contemplating a trip back to SA for the sole purpose of sorting out junior's braces!
Imagine knowing there is something wrong with you, you haven't got a clue what it is, and you have to go off to Perth for a whole series of examinations. This is what happened to this woman. Off you go, the doc hasn't a clue what is wrong with you and tells you it is 'stress'. You know it isn't stress so you refuse to leave the consulting rooms before they examine you properly seeing that you have flown all the way there at great expense - the expat medical aid covers the doc's visit but not the flight. Eventually she ended up at a neurologist and they discovered a lesion on her brain! Seriously scary having to deal with something like that long distance.
I had a pleasant surprise ... I did something to my back and needed physio. We have a physio! I finally grit my teeth and made the appointment at $75 (converted into rand it is astronomical compared to prices in SA). To my delight, the expat medical aid covered it in full there and then on the spot.