We did have a trip 2 weeks ago to the doctors. The overall experience was good, but very different than the States. We will receive KELA cards which is our Social Security and Health Card, but we have not received them yet. We have the numbers, but the official card.
Public healthcare is available to all residents in Finland, regardless of their financial situation. Public healthcare services comprise primary healthcare, provided by municipal health centres, and specialised hospital care.
With the help from Christian (and help from his office) we found the local health center – a short walk into Tapiola Center. The hardest part was figuring out where to go since there was no English or anyone to assist when we walked into to the building. We saw a number machine so we picked a number. Eventually, our number lite up above a door and we walked into the right place. I was so happy to have Christian’s help. The nice lady at the desk checked us into their system. She informed us that there were 5 people ahead of us. They close at 4pm and it was getting close to closing time. We waited for 30-40 minutes and then our second number was called. The very young female doctor spoke English pretty well. She used Google to translate the Finnish to English with what she thought we were dealing with. In English, the diagnosis was nettle rash, which she believes probably was connected with the stomach virus we got on the airplane. She prescribed Hydrocortison cream and Aerius(I think a form of Benadryl). The doctor’s visit was free (ok paid by the tax payers). We then headed to the chemist/pharmacy.
Christian headed back to work for a conference call and we walked up to the pharmacy. The pharmacy is called Tapiolan Otso Apteekki. The procedure once again is to pick a number. It was not too busy when we got there and we sat down and met with the chemist. Like many others, her English was quite good. Again this experience is a little different than the States. I handed the prescription over and then paid for the medicine. I think is was around 18€, but we will mail the receipt in and get 40% back when we get the KELA card. Not too bad. Oh, and I didn’t have to come back or wait 20 minutes. She climbed up a ladder and pulled out a drawer to retrieve the medicine. CVS could learn a little from this whole medicine process. Kittos Tapilan Otso Apteekki.
Whatever the case the medicine worked and in a few days the rash was gone!