Saturday, September 13, 2014

A crash course in the Jakarta Healthcare System

First let me start with the fact that everyone is

I would also like to mention that I have come to deeply dislike the mobile phone system here. First, no one has a phone plan. The way you get your phone to work is to get a SIM card for your phone that is provided by one of the local providers. This gives you a phone number.

The next step is to load your minutes on to your phone. This is a delicate attempt to balance cost vs. need as you try to figure out how much money it will take to serve your phone needs. I blew through my first top up in about 3 days. Unfortunately, I discovered this while T was out of town so I spent  about a day trying to figure out why I couldn't make phone calls and then trying to figure out how to fix it. Turns out I had to plug in another 100,000 RP (about $10) to make it work again. Which I can do at one of the local vendors out on the street or at the mall. I have since shut down every app on my iPhone. Here's hoping this top up lasts longer. I already miss my service plan.

The other annoyance is how phone numbers work. I have been given multiple phone numbers but when I dial them they don't work. Given my earlier struggles with the phone I assumed there was a problem with the service. It turns out that you are supposed to know that when someone gives you their number, you are required to drop the first two numbers and add an 021. This means that when someone calls you and you hit redial you must actually change the number you are calling. All of this I find extremely frustrating. Particularly because at no point did anyone tell me this.

So,you now know that T was traveling for State this week and I have not really figured out how to use my phone which leads to my crash course.

This weekend there was a Friendly soccer tournament at Z's school. Students came from Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to play each other in preparation for the IASAS tournament coming up in October. We were very excited to host two young ladies coming in from Bangkok and doing our job to pay it forward since we hope Z will get selected for the team to go to Kuala Lumpur and represent her school. 

So, as all the soccer moms out there can recognize I have settled myself in for a weekend of watching my daughter play. You are also familiar with how things can go wrong when your kids play contact sports. Exactly two minutes into the game Z took a ball to the face that came off the foot of a girl who was about a meter away. I knew something was wrong because Z plays tough and she hits the ground a least a couple times a game, but she didn't pop back up. The game was stopped and the nurse came out and escorted her off the field with ice on her face. 

After assessment we discovered she was having trouble seeing from her left eye. So guess what? We get to go to the emergency clinic!

I have already been through training at the Embassy, so I know that before I seek local healthcare I am to contact the Medical Office and work with the Dr. On Call. This would be great if I could figure out how to use my phone! I was able to reach T who was at the airport waiting to board his plane home and he had me call Post One (our general "call if there is an emergency number") and wonderfully I was able to have them patch me through. They directed me to the SOS Clinic nearby and called ahead for me so the "right" doctor would see Z.

I also need to tell you that this was the point that all the other wonderful moms sprang into action taking pity on the poor newbie and helping me with my phone, getting Z's stuff from the cafeteria and getting us to our driver and car. 

We got to SOS where she was seen and assessed immediately but they needed to have her seen by an Ophthalmologist. Since there wasn't one on staff they needed to search one out who could see her. This was found and we went "racing"  ( we have mentioned that Jakarta's traffic moves at a crawl most of the time.. its worse on Friday night.) to the eye clinic. All this time I am in communication with the Dr. On Call. 
Once we were at the eye clinic they were very friendly and helpful, which is good because all of the paperwork is in Indonesian and at this point all I can say is "Hello" and "Thank You"
The really good news is that the eye Dr. spoke almost perfect English. She checked  Z's eye and assessed no real damage but definite swelling. This has required dilation drops, and steroid drops to reduce the pressure.  And the worst part for Z: No More Soccer this weekend.

At this point I have her speak to the Dr. On Call and she gives her the same information.
We then check out for a grand total in medical expenses that night of 900,000 RP or $90.

Then comes the fun part. We are still hosting the two girls from Bangkok and despite everyone's hopes that we would be back to the school by 8pm to pick them up and bring them home, we weren't going to make it. I have mentioned the traffic.  I have also been in communication with the Athletic Director. He can bring the girls to our house but what then? No, no one is at home. No, the house isn't unlocked. Oh, Yes! one of the other players lives in our compound..they can be dropped there till we get home, thankfully only about 15 minutes later. 

So I have managed to get my daughter treated and get two guests from the school to my house in a place where I still can't quite figure out how to use my phone!! Thank goodness for my new Village! Also for my driver who got me through all this and my housekeeper who left dinner waiting in the oven.

As a follow up. The Dr. On Call phoned later and said she wanted Z to see a State-approved eye specialist in the morning. T was able to handle this as I herded the other soccer players and watched the games. That appointment was even more hopeful. The swelling had gone down and she was cleared to play on Monday. I was told the conversation when something like this...
Dr.: So you need to rest your eye. No reading or Computers this weekend. 
Z: So can I play?
Dr. : No, no computer games this weekend.
Z: So can I play Soccer?
Dr.: NO!. Soccer?? no no no

This appointment was $60 so all totalled $150 for three clinic visits and meds before insurance. Pretty good.

Last note..I watched the boys game that morning with another parent who turned out to be the Swedish Ambassador. We aren't in Cbus anymore.

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