Bianca’s Hospital Visit to Inje University Seoul Paik Hospital
Don’t be alarmed, not one was hurt.
Bianca had developed a sore ankle over the past few months, at first it was just after a big day of walking, and then progressively it was hurting every day even before the day had begun. So in Seoul we took the opportunity to visit a doctor, as we were concerned Bianca could have damaged a muscle and didn’t want it progress further or incur more permanent damage. One afternoon after a discussion with our hotel and checked our travel insurance, we attended the local hospital for a doctor’s consultation. We thought we would be in for a long and expensive afternoon, but to our amazement it was the most efficient experience of our lives.
As we entered the hospital we were greeted by concierge, who after a bit of miming and pointing to my foot, we paid for a doctor’s appointment. Then we were assigned a helper, to guide us around the hospital and speak on our behalf (she had limited English). Soon we were whizzed to another building – which to our amazement was the Foot and Ankle Centre for Seoul! What are the chances that the hospital we choose was a specialist in the field I needed! Anyway, as soon as we sat down in the waiting room of the foot clinic, a nurse came to do an initial assessment, where I circle the areas that hurt. When she left, our helper took us down stairs to have x-rays on my ankle. I walked straight into the radiology unit and had x-rays immediately – no waiting. The x-rays were even given to us on a CD to take home. After this we were whisked back to the foot clinic for an immediate consultation with a foot and ankle specialist. He described that I had a structural problem with my foot – no cause for concern, but I would need to wait for it to be treated at home in Australia. However, to treat the pain while we still travel, he gave me a prescription for a three-month supply of 2 types of pain killers, and a digestant. We may have to declare the medication I have so much! Straight after the appointment the nurse took us to the hospital reception for a medical certificate, written in Korean and English. She then guided us to a pharmacy to collect the prescription and waited to ensure everything was okay. When we were ready to leave the nurse hugged me, as if I had been a long term patient of hers and had finally been discharged.
Well……it was definitely a whirlwind, and the whole experience took just over an hour, unbelievable. Months later, we are still in shock!