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Real Service

February 11, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you have been following this blog you will know that recently I had a short holiday break on Stewart Island. Several people have asked me about that trip and I find I have consistently mentioned two things which happened while we were there. One was a day we spent fishing on a charter boat. We got plenty of blue cod (plus a few sharks) and the whole trip was fun, partly due to the skipper who was a real character (you get a lot of those on the island).

Another experience we had on the island involved the local nurse. There are no doctors there and my son had an infection in his foot so we had to call the nurse out through the ambulance service. I was very impressed with the service we got. This guy (his name was Martin) met us at the medical center (which was right next to our motel – that’s an advantage of a small town) and cleaned up the hole in my son’s foot and prescribed a strong antibiotic which he had available at the clinic. We had a follow up call the next day and he even visited once in our motel room. Where else do you get great service like that? Just to make it even better all of that was free! I did give him a donation for the clinic but the actual cost was subsidised by the local health board.

When I visit our doctor in Dunedin I usually sit in the waiting room for 45 minutes (even when I have an appointment for a specific time), he looks at the problem, tells me what I know already (you need an antibiotic, etc), and then I’m out the door in 5 minutes with a prescription and a bill for $50. Then I have another half hour wait at the pharmacy (why does it take so long to count a few pills?) and usually another hefty bill. Say what you like about big cities, modern medical practices, or whatever, but I think the old fashioned way of doing things has a lot of merit!

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