In sickness …

I am often asked about health issues in Bali. While neither of us has ever needed to go to hospital, we have heard reports both good and bad. The good reports concern the larger institutions. We have friends who swear by Siloam, another who received excellent treatment for a serious outbreak of dengue fever (DB* as it’s known here) at Kasih Ibu. We have been told, but have not needed to verify, that our retirement visa entitles us to a 70% hospital fee discount. Certainly ability to pay needs to be ascertained on admission, whether by an insurance policy or credit card. Far too many visitors get caught out without funds or insurance. Compassion fatigue has set in for their foolishness. GoFundMe is not the answer.

But for less serious treatments we have found the small clinics to be excellent. Ubud Clinic has a terrific small pharmacy with supplies for most needs. Our first port of call years ago was Toya Medika and we have stayed with them for medical problems, even though a bit of a trek across town.

The most recent need was yesterday. After a sleepless night that I thought would never end, with symptoms ticking all the dengue boxes I knew it needed to be ruled out. The blood results only took four hours and I was called back so they could be explained. The lovely young Balinese doctor even gave me her personal phone number and email to contact her if I felt the need. The tests were inconclusive for DB but certainly some infection is at work so meds have been prescribed. Another blood test tomorrow, but as I’m feeling a bit better today, don’t think it’s DB as not much works except fluids, rest and local remedies.

My health is not the point of this post however. I am keen to dispel the common belief that medical care here is inferior. We have been more than happy with treatment for, yes, DB (Eddie, two years ago), shingles, UTIs and several other ailments. Similarly dental treatment where our clinic is much cheaper and better equipped than we have found in Australia.

So, visitors to Bali, get your travel insurance locked in but you really don’t need to worry if you should need medical treatment. The various Facebook travel forums will offer advice and recommendations for areas out of Ubud.

Wayan is coming later for the weekly massage – that should sort the aches. By the end of the week I’ll have bounced right back. Thank you again Toya Medika.

* DB = Demam berdarah, literally ‘bleeding fever’

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