28 May 2020

Universal Healthcare during COVID-19 works!

Costa Rica CCSS Strike Still Effecting Surgery Waits | The Costa ...
I can’t believe how impressed I am with the outreach to us from our local CCSS clinic. The CCSS is the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social, commonly referred to as "la CAJA". Yesterday we received a call for John from our local CAJA health center. Since John is language challenged when it comes to understanding people speaking Spanish on the telephone, I took over the call. The caller was a staff member at the local clinic and she was just calling to make sure we are okay and did we need anything health-wise during this time of social distancing. She confirmed our ages, living situation (food, shelter, ability to cook, clean, bathe, and generally take care of ourselves), regular medications we take, and our emergency contact information.

Mejoras en ebais en AtenasI explained, even though we pay our quota to the CAJA each month, we have always used the medical services of our friend and doctor in town to write prescriptions we have filled at the CAJA pharmacy. Since March we have avoided contact with the public as much as possible and we haven’t wanted to go to the CAJA pharmacy to fill prescriptions. We have been ordering our medications from a local pharmacy via WhatsApp (text message). This pharmacy provides a free delivery service. The CAJA representative explained they would be more than happy to fill the prescriptions for our regular medications and deliver them to our house monthly. She took down the names of all our medications and promised to set up an appointment by telephone with one of the doctors working at the local CAJA clinic. Today, she called back to confirm a doctor will contact us today, or tomorrow, to confirm our medications and submit the prescriptions to the CAJA pharmacy to be filled and delivered. She then proceeded to provide me with the phone numbers I can call to order refills in the coming months.

Some folks complain about socialized medicine, but for us, we find the medical system so much better than what we had in the United States. Granted, elective medical services are not readily available and there is a waiting list, there are waiting periods to see some specialists, but overall healthcare and emergency services are great. Just last week we ventured out of the house long enough to get our seasonal flu vaccination at a venue set up by the local CAJA. Earlier this year, clinicians from the CAJA showed up at our door to take our temperatures, blood pressure, and administer Tetanus booster shots. The system works! ¡Pura Vida!

UPDATE 5/28: The doctor at the local clinic just called to reconfirm our regular medications. The prescriptions will be filled tomorrow and delivered to our door on Monday.
UPDATE 5/29: 30 days worth of medications were delivered at 10 AM. Each medication can be refilled twice.
UPDATE 6/1/20 Two clinicians from the local CAJA office came to check on us for symptoms of Dengue Fever (breakbone fever). They confirmed there is one reported case of Dengue in our neighborhood and she has recovered. Time to inspect the property again to eliminate any mosquito breeding grounds.

Universal Healthcare for all!

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