On Monday I was prepared to put in some fresh contact lenses – only to find out that I didn’t have any more of the really important one – for my left eye! Basically, I can function pretty well with just one lens, as long as it’s in my left eye, but I didn’t have any more. I thought I had one left, but it was for the other eye.
So, I needed to make an appointment. I haven’t really had a ton of personal experience with the Korean healthcare system, this was only the second time I’ve seen a doctor. But it highlights something really amazing. The call went somethign like this:
Them: [rapid and imcomprehensible Korean]
Me: Do you speak English?
Them: 잠시만요. (Just a moment)
Them (after finding the English speaker): How can we help you?
Me: I’d like to make an appiontment.
Them: When can you come?
Me: Can I come today?
Them: Yes. We are closed for lunch from 12 ’til 2. You can come then.
Me: OK, I’ll be there at 2.
Of course, calling a doctor and expecting to get a same day appointment is almost unheard of in the States. It is pretty common here. The check-up itself went off without a hitch. But there were some issues to figure out. Apparently, the same kind of lenses I use in the States simply aren’t available in Korea, so they have to do some mix and matching, but it should work out alright. The real kicker though is that the entire visit (exam, and the lens for my right eye) cost only 65,000 won (about $70). The bulk of that being the lens. Doctor visits are expensive if they cost more than $5.
Entry filed under: Culture.