Sunday, January 07, 2007

I've got my medical certificate!

I finally got around to getting the medical certificate that's required for the work permit application! The university told us we could get one at any clinic, for about 35 baht. Everyone else has managed to procure one without a hitch, so it should be pretty straightforward.

I found the bus to Yanhee International Hospital like Pidar suggested (she wrinkled her nose at the thought of me going to one of the local clinics, “they not good”). And the nice conductor lady told me where to get off. So I arrive and introduce myself at reception.

“I want a medical certificate”
“what's the matter with you?”
“I am healthy, I just need a doctor to check. I need a medical certificate for the work permit”

He looks puzzled for a moment, then dials the phone, talks in Thai and hands it to me. It's a translator. I explain that I'm a teacher in Thailand and need a medical certificate for my work permit. She asks me what kind. I don't know what kind! Just a certificate to say I am healthy to teach. No-one warned me about these questions! From the way the university spoke about these things I figured any clinic in Thailand would know exactly what I wanted as soon as I said the words “medical certificate” - I didn't expect to have to go into detail.

I'm brought to the waiting area, where I watch the rollerblade delivery girls whiz by and practise reading the Thai alphabet on the signs around me (with limited success – although I'm doing okay on the consonants I still only know two vowels). Then they take my weight (I've lost weight!) and measure my blood pressure with a special machine, and I wait some more.

I'm called into the doctor's room and he gives me a cursory examination and asks if I have diabetes, then fills out a form (I only got “good health”, not excellent – what did I do wrong?!), and I'm taken to the cashier. “200 baht”. 200 baht?! All he did was wave a stethoscope at me and prod me a few times in the stomach and you're charging me 200 baht? (And yes, okay, three quid might not sound like a lot of money to those of you on UK wages, but imagine how you'd feel if you were expecting something to cost £3.50 and you end up having to pay £20). But at least I finally have my medical certificate (I even persuaded him not to date it, like the university asked), so I'm in less danger of being packed off home, work-permitless.


At 10:35 am, Blogger Mother said...

So glad you are healthy.

At 4:22 pm, Blogger Queen of Sheeba said...

200 baht!!!! Man you need to go to the scary hospitals. They're not as pretty, but the wait time is the same, you get the same drugs in the end and the price is so much cheaper. Maybe 'cause you have to deal with the scarry sick people and not the teens candy girls on roller skates?!?


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