quinta-feira, 30 de maio de 2013

Medical cares that should be taken before coming to Brazil

Here is another guest post by Ms. Gringa da Silva. Hope you enjoy it!

Hello my pretties, it's is me, Ms. Gringa,

Adler and I have been having scheduling issues, so the posting of a weekly column is somewhat skewed at the moment.

Fear not, however, Ms. Gringa is here to help you, always.

So, this week’s post is about health care, hospitals, insurance and stuff like that.

Ms. Gringa has spent the last week running back and forth to the toilet with a nasty touch of Delhi Belly. What started out as an innocent night out and a lovely dinner, turned into a full blown mess which eventually led to going to the hospital. Fun.

Add to this, Ms. Gringa has not had caipirinha in more than a week.

Before you come to Brazil, you really do need to ensure that you go to the dentist, have your annual check-ups, get whatever vaccinations you need updated, or added and if needed collect a refill of your prescriptions, (carry your paper prescriptions with you, you might be asked to prove that the pills are for you and don't carry too many or someone may assume you are importing them for resale) favorite supplements, contact lens solution and so on.

Not because Brazil does not have adequate medical services or equivalents, but because you really don't want to be bothering with this stuff as soon as you land.

Remember, if you are bringing something that the customs declaration form wants you to declare, then declare it. No one gives a damn unless it is illegal, but paperwork is The King, so fill it out, for heaven’s sake. You could be turned away at the border for being inconvenient if you do not...

You will need Hepatitis A and B vaccines. You should get Yellow Fever, regardless of whatever the websites may tell you. Remembering that Border Control is always looking for a reason, so don't give them one. Make sure your Tetanus is up to date, and whatever that Jenny McCartney may have to say about it, also MMR if you did not get it as a child for some strange reason.

If you don't have a Polio vaccine, you are beyond help, so don't come to Brazil.

Unless you plan on being in some extremely undeveloped area, drinking untreated water and bathing in a polluted river, you do not need a Typhoid vaccine.

Malaria Prophylactics? It depends on where you will be going. Dengue Fever is far more prevalent and preventing bites is always desirable. The Malaria Prophylactics are available here by the way.

Unless you need to take them, don't. You might be taking medicine for no reason and allowing the spread of potentially drug resistant malaria to proliferate.

Children will be possibly required to show proof at the border of the basic childhood vaccines, but adults typically might be only required to show proof of Yellow Fever Vaccine.

All vaccines and medicines and procedures and mosquito repellents and life come with potential problems and side effects and issues, so remember to talk with your doctor, and also remember, Ms. Gringa da Silva and Adler Martins ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for what you do or what happens to you if you do it, these words in this post are just suggestions, after all. Everyone hates legal disclaimers, but it is a litigious word and people tend to behave like spoiled children, versus adults responsible for their own actions, so they are needed.

Now, onwards. Get travel insurance before you come and get the complete package. Coming to Brazil and being in Brazil without insurance is about as smart as swimming in shark infested waters with a bacon bikini on.

If you are planning to be here a while, you will need private health insurance. To get this in the best way, it is good to get an insurance broker, who for a fee, will run the gauntlet of paperwork and red-tape and other nonsense for you. Inquire from your co-workers and Brazilian friends as to what provider and broker is the best one for your needs.

Word of mouth is a much better indicator of quality and reliability here than any other thing or advertisement.

The caveat is that Brazilian providers will not provide you with health insurance without CPF and RNE numbers. We will be going into great detail about how to obtain those things soon, I promise. (and the caipirinha scale will go up exponentially as we discuss them) In the meantime, make sure your travel and health insurance from your home country covers the time you will be in Brazil until such a time as you being able to get the relevant thing here.

Private hospitals in Brazil are great, but like everything else, they involve paperwork and are exacting in their methods. Deal with it. In a private hospital you can complain, but unless you are being kicked around, be an adult and deal with it like the Brazilians standing beside you do.

You will be able to obtain medical care of sorts here without private insurance, but it is not recommended and it may end up costing you a great deal of time and money, inconvenience and is not reliable. You won't be allowed to die or anything and your Embassy might help you in any case if it is serious.

The Brazilian Government provides a health care system called SUS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistema_%C3%9Anico_de_Sa%C3%BAde Ms. Gringa does not know much about it, just poorly understood second hand accounts from people who work for me, with me, or that I know. It is available to foreigners of course, but really, if you can afford to come here, you can afford travel insurance at least. I can’t stress this enough.

Adler will go into more detail about SUS in other posts on his blog.

Ms. Gringa needs to go back to bed now.

The above annoyances and inconveniences range from a 1 to a 2 on the caipirinha scale. Not having insurance in Brazil and needing it, will land you a 5 on the caipirinha scale, trust me.

We will return to our regularly scheduled bureaucracy discussions forthwith.

So, my pretties, until next time, yours in the spirit of cachaça,

Ms. Gringa da Silva

All rights reserved © 2013 by Ms. Gringa da Silva (http://msgringadasilva.orgfree.com/)

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