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Going to Hospital in Estonia

Posted by on June 26, 2011

Saturday started with us all meeting at Kompressor – and if you’ve been to Tallinn you’ve missed out if you didn’t go here. It’s claimed to be the place the locals like, and indeed there were a few, but a lot of backpackers and weekenders too. Their feature is pancakes – both savoury and sweet, and they’re huge and delicious. Only one is required to make up a glorious meal.

Pancakes at Kompressor

Pancakes at Kompressor

I’d realised the night before that something unfortunate had happened. The small pack of tablets (on average about a week’s worth) that I keep in my daypack had been left / gone walkabout in Riga. As one of my key ones was only in there, it was time to visit a doctor. Danny was also up for getting an appointment for himself, not feeling great, so we headed across town to Emergency, while the others did some walking around.

At regular intervals when travelling I’ve needed to visit a hospital, a doctor, or get a blood test. And time and time again, I’ve found that just rocking up at Emergency is the easiest. You get triaged anyway so yes there might be a wait, but odds are there’s a doctor there who can see you eventually, and odds are also good that one of them speaks some English. Not the case in Mendoza and Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, but know a few key words beforehand and you can usually get by.

Tallinn from above

Tallinn from above

As it happened, reception told me it’d be a three hour wait, which I said I had no choice, I’d wait. I was sent to the triage nurse, who took one look at my details and sent me straight through, past all the patients in wheelchairs and with broken arms. Sometimes things work out well. One of the registrars spoke English, and soon enough (and for a reasonable price) had a new prescription. Danny, on the other hand, was told he wasn’t an emergency and was told he’d need to go to a regular doctor(!). Off to the mall and filled the prescription, and then off to locate the others.

Fact: An emergency appointment plus 1-2 months of tablets cost less than 50 Euros. Not bad.

Fact: Me being without tablets is triaged as ’emergency’ by the Estonian health system. Excellent.

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3 Responses to Going to Hospital in Estonia

  1. Luuk

    Maybe it’s kind of like a Friday CR… Stuff the priority, this one looks easy and we can get him out the door quickly. :)

  2. Medea

    I was at Kompressor some weeks ago… great place. :)

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