Living in Cyprus: Health Not Wealth

image from a stenosis carotid scan

The thing about living in a foreign land and coming from Britain, you’re always going to worry about your health, especially as you get older and closer to retirement. Britain has a fabulous National Health Service, best known as the NHS. From cradle to grave your health needs are sorted, though there are always cries of “not enough is being spent on the NHS” but that, for our purpose, dear reader, is an aside. In general you are well looked after by the NHS in Britain.

Cyprus, for us Brits at least, is similar in that mostly we have a reciprocal agreement between Britain and Cyprus. Cyprus looks after Brits and Britain looks after Cypriots. But there can be grey areas and sometimes you have to step outside the cozy nest that is the NHS and, sometimes on a wing and a prayer, you have to pay for your treatment. Today was one of those days.

Being a diabetic I get my eyes checked by a private clinic in Limassol once a year at €50 a shot. Last month my Doctor found I had micro-bleeds in my eyes. She decided I needed a CT scan on my carotid artery. The local NHS clinic we frequent said it would be quicker to go private. So off we went today and had the scan. It took a while because the Doc, Mr Chuckles (he never once smiled or even said very much) was behind with his patients (at 09:30?), but it soon came to my turn.

Ten minutes later I have a colouful A4 folder, a forty word report and pictures of the scan that either shows I’m pregnant or my neck is full of black and white dots. So mushy were the dots I couldn’t even join them up to make a picture of a dog or bunny rabbit!

So, with my folder in hand and my wallet €180 lighter I’m reliably informed that there is no stenosis, but with a mild build of of crap in my sixty-two year old carotid artery.

Here I am, good to go for another few years. But at €180 and not a dot in site that makes a bunny rabbit? It’s a tall bill for a picture of mush.

Tom Kane © 2017
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