My NHS friends might find our experience of Private Urgent Care interesting. On arrival in Dushanbe on a Sunday, the Urgent Care Centre uses by foreigners was closed. However, on further enquiries it appeared to be open but did not have an English speaking medic on duty. As I knew I had bronchitis, I did not think this would be a problem.
We, Jim, myself and English speaking taxi driver were ushered up to a modern looking clean empty ward, with beds. I was led to a bed and asked to lie down. They explained that this was how they did their examinations. A doctor came and she did actually speak reasonable English. There was not much privacy as they listened to my lungs with the taxi driver and Jim in full view!
They said it was ok but would take blood tests, heart rate, temperature and blood pressure etc This was all done on modern machinery. They then offered me a tonic through a blood transfusion, which I turned down. However, they then gave me a very large pill which I think included Paracetamol as they ascertained that I had not taken any that day.
They then brought in a sort of inhaler, which I think was a nebuliser which did provide some relief and then they gave me an injection in the rear which they said was against allergies. By this time the little ward was filling up and they had a bit of a screen around my rear, but I was totally exposed from the front!
After a while they gave me a prescription for antibiotics for 5 days, which was one pill a day. Then some medication including paracetamol which was to be taken once a day, plus a tinctus for a cough with a sore throat, which the chemist did not stock and then a cough medicine to be taken as required.
Well I took the Therasil D cough mixture straight away and within an hour I was in bed and out for the count. I think I took too much, when 10 mls was recommended I misread the measure and took 20mls. I then proceeded to sleep solidly for 6 hours! On closer inspection it contained things which were not available over the counter in the UK!
The total cost of the consultation including all the medication administered on the ward during a period of an hour was about £20 plus another £5 for the prescriptions. We were told to return the next day to pay, as the cash tills were closed on a Sunday, plus I could get the blood test results.
What would be good is if I could report that I rapidly recovered and that the next blog would have been ‘the other wedding’. However, it was not to be. The bronchitis had me in its grip and Jim and I reluctantly decided that our much anticipated flights to Bucharest to join Maria and George were not to be. So from Dushanbe we wish them well and sorry we did not deliver on our promise.
Instead, Dushanbe was going to be our recovery stop where repairs to ourselves and the car were the first priority before we tackle the Pamirs, with their potential for altitude sickness and severe weather episodes and washed away roads.