My post on visiting my so-called “third-world” car dealer recently turned out so well that I decided to document my last trip to see the doctor. My primary care physician is an internal medicine/pulmonary specialist. I started going to him because he’s been taking good care of Mita’s mom, who has diabetes and some other issues. I like the man, both personally and professionally … in my layman’s view his medical decisions make good sense. He’s easy to talk to and obviously cares about his patients.
Without going into detail I’m on a couple different “maintenance” meds that I take daily. One prescription was about done so I texted the doctor’s very efficient and amiable office secretary on Friday and asked if I could have a refill prescription on Monday. Her answer was a swiftly returned “Ok, po” (Yes Sir). One advantage of cell phone texting is, you never get put on hold and there’s a record of the exchange. Also, if you treat the secretary as the VIP she really is …like with a P10 peso bag of puto puti every month or so, you won’t even have to wait to see the doc … she’ll text you when he is in the office and it is close to ‘tour turn’. to get in to se him. Give the parking/security guard a hundred pesos every Christmas and a bag of puto now and again as well and parking is never a problem either.
Monday afternoon I got in my car … the one with the new, ever so much more quiet exhaust system … and drove the less than 10 minute trip to the local hospital where my doc practices 4 or 5 days a week. The secretary saw me coming in the clinic door, dug my prescription out of my medical file and I handed her the grand total of 300 Pesos, the doctor’s normal consultation fee. I barely stopped moving before I was out the door and back in the car for the trip to the drug store.
Mercury Drug is probably the largest drug store chain in the Philippines. I find their stores conveniently located, clean, modern and their pharmacy personnel top rank. They have always been helpful to me when I have questions, and unlike any drug store I ever encountered before they allow you to get your prescription in “installments” … the doctor had given me a 60 tablet/60 day supply but the druggist would have been more than happy to sell me only a smaller quantity now if I hadn’t wanted to pay for the whole ‘scrip “up front”.
In less than 5 minutes I had my pills in my hand and was back in my car, where the always helpful parking attendant flagged down the traffic on the busy street in front of the drug store so I could pull out and be on my 10 minute drive home. Almost every store and restaurant with parking has attendants to help you park and un-park .. payment is strictly optional, I always hand the guys 10 to 20 pesos as I leave ($0.21 to $0.42 US at today’s rate) … some of my Filipino relatives are aghast at how much of a spendthrift I am.
And home to blog once more. Not bad for a “third world” country, eh? If I were really into saving time I could have had the doctor office fax the scrip to the drug store and had the drug store deliver .. and paid for the prescription with a text from my cell phone … but I’m old fashioned and I wanted to listen to my exhaust