You are enjoying a relaxing weekend in your new home in Argentina, when suddenly a severe stomach pain strikes. You decide to see a doctor about the pain, but are nervous because this is your first visit to a foreign doctor. Visits to doctors are intimidating as it is, and the new environment makes it worse. So how would you go about treating your ailment? It is best to stick to the universal language and make use of your English conversational skills to get through the procedures, proper diagnosis and treatment.
Listed are some things to remember:
Things to remember when undergoing medical treatment in a foreign location:
1. Check availability
It is preferable to call the doctor's office early to check his/her availability. It can be frustrating and stressful to drive all the way to the clinic or hospital just to find out that the doctor is not there. Converse politely with the receptionist to inquire whether the doctor is in or not.
2. Insurance and papers
Since you are foreigner seeking medical aid, it is very important to have your insurance and requisite papers as soon as possible. Many hospitals in foreign locations are very particular about insurance and other formalities. Take your insurance details along with you. If not, then ask for other payment options for the time being.
Situation: Your stomach pain is not receding and you drive to the clinic after calling to check availability. You enter and greet the receptionist.
You: Hello, I am Mr. Rajat. I had called earlier about the stomach pain.
Receptionist: Yes Mr. Rajat, How is the pain now?
You: Its severity is low, but the pain is still there. Can I see the doctor now?
Receptionist: He is with another patient. Please fill up these forms and take a seat here.
You: Actually I am a foreigner and these procedures are new to me. Can you please guide me?
You: What all details you need to know?
Receptionist: Since you are a foreigner, you need to have a photocopy of your passport and fill in the insurance details. You also need to add the details of a local contact person in case of emergencies.
You: Is there any consultation fees?
Receptionist: There is a flat fee of 150 pesos. But it will be taken care off by insurance along with any further treatments necessary.
You: What about the medicine costs?
Receptionist: That will have to be borne by you.
You: Okay. Thanks. Please let me know when my turn comes up.
Receptionist: Sure. Will do.
The above sample shows how you should go about undergoing medical treatment in a foreign location. Proper care and English vocabulary skills will help you go through the formalities and procedures with minimum hassles. It is always helpful to maintain a list of medical contact information nearby, so that you will know whom to call. This is needed as you are in a foreign location and you need every bit of information. To speak English fluently and confidently, you can take the help of an online English tutor.
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- By Monika Agarwal
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