I've been feeling a bit under the weather. My head hurts. My throat feels like a few ninjas are down in there. Or perhaps a mini-forest is growing in my throat. I've been attempting to think of some good metaphors; it's harder than one might imagine. I probably caught some sort of infection from the kids at the primary school.
Anyway, my point is not to impress you with my fine metaphorical skills. It is to comment on a different health care system than the one I am used to. I stopped by the farmacia (pharmacy) and picked up some antibiotics. I like how you don't need a prescription to get most types of medicine in Uruguay. If I were in the States, I would have done nothing until I felt like I was really truly dying, because one, it's such a hassle to get an appointment at a doctor's office to go in there and wait all day long, and two, it would have cost me hefty co-pay to go to the doctor for a prescription I already knew I needed. The burden of care falls more heavily on the pharmacist here. Hopefully they are well-trained.
The medicine was also A LOT cheaper (about 70% cheaper) than than it would have been in the USA. Health care might not be as competitive (and there may be an increase of various risks with deregulated pharmacies), but I do think they know a thing or two about making health services more efficient and affordable for the public.
Now to see if this antibiotic was actually what I needed... I really can't afford to get sick this week.