I had some weird verruca thing on my eye that needed removing under local anaesthetic and the doctor convinced me to remove four moles at the same time. It would have been six, but I didn’t fancy my whole face being covered in small white plasters (I’m too vain!).
I know that the government are trying to stamp out medical tourism in England, but seriously, if you can’t get free NHS treatment – to all you medical tourists out there – I recommend Kenya! Nurses are so friendly, doctors and surgeons are top class, hospitals spotless and if you choose the hospital carefully they often have state of the art equipment too! My blood pressure was taken with a clever computer that also measured pulse and ecg, and after watching some television, and thirty minutes on the operating table with a hugely experienced plastic surgeon, I finished up with a lovely cup of tea and a croissant.
In England I’ve been charged £125 for three children’s vaccinations by the NHS when they would only have cost me £50 here. I’ve had NHS tests done where results have been promised after two to three weeks, then when I phoned to enquire after the allocated (very long) time, have been informed that ‘samples’ have been lost and tests never carried out. Here you can find out if you have malaria, dysentery or bilharzia in ten minutes.
This was the third surgery I’ve had in East Africa. The first was in Tanzania shortly after arrival eight years ago and I must confess, it was a bit weird. Dressed in a tunic, sheet wrapped around my waist and shower cap on, I was kicked off the operating theatre table when they discovered I had had a glass of water that morning. (silly me, I was not properly ‘au fait’ with the muslim concept of ‘fasting’). After shuffling back to the ward in shame, having seriously inconvenienced the medical staff, I sat about for further hour and a half waiting for the water to digest. Afterwards, whilst coming around from the general anaesthetic, a nursing sister leant over me and said ‘pole sana’ (very sorry). After I managed a wan smile her face turned a bit fierce ‘you must say asante sana!’ (ie. thank you very much!). Hmm, mental note; must learn Swahili.
The second was an appendectomy in Nairobi. This time, as if to make up for past experiences, a pathetic stream of very poor pigeon Swahili was unstoppably pouring from my mouth as I lost consciousness. I’m sure the anaesthetist was relieved when I finally shut up.
The Nairobi birth of our third baby who decided to emerge backwards at breakneck speed, compared very favourably to that of my sister’s child who had to be born on the ward in her local UK hospital, due to delivery rooms being fully occupied.
Anyway, our local newly built Karen hospital offers boob jobs and tummy tucks for a fraction of the prices charged in the western world. A couple of people have actually undergone these procedures and been very happy with the results! So to those looking for cut price medical treatment, try the developing world! You might be pleasantly surprised.