That dodgy doctor

Sep 07, 2013 in

So, I had food poisoning last week, the whole programme. But I am better now.

After the second day of not feeling better, I decided to go back down the mountain into the biggest hospital in the whole Lao Cai province in the search for a doctor that can speak English. As I mentioned before, even amongst the literate crowd, it is not at all common to speak English.

On arriving there, I found out that nobody speaks English and no signs at all were in English (that could point me where to go inside the hospital). However, there was a man I initially identified as a tout or mototaxi-driver who could speak some English and was overly helpful to get me to a doctor.

Sceptically, I followed him and he arranged that I could see a doctor right away, a man who was coincidentally just coming into the hospital through the front door.
After taking my blood pressure, that doctor (who couldn’t speak English) wrote down some medicaments I should take while I had the impression that he was not listening to the man’s translation of the description of my symptoms.

The whole situation felt a bit dodgy and I was glad when I was back out of the hospital and the tout did not play any tricks on me.

But… what… wait a moment! He was just very nice and not a tout at all, he even arranged some private meeting with a doctor and for the whole thing I didn’t have to pay anything, only the medicaments at the hospital pharmacy.
They even called me a taxi back into town (the hospital is 8km out of town)! So, a lesson learned: People who mean it good with you here wear this kind of intrusive- and overhelpfulness as well, it is not a special treat of the touts and other people who want to get money out of you.

As a conclusion, here two pictures of dentists at work in Hai Phong: