We did go to the state hospital emergency room, but no doctors seemed to be working. There was a waiting room full of people to be seen, but no doctor in sight. The information booth was vacant. Dan did find someone dressed in hospital green. He asked if she spoke english and she responded, "No, I do not speak English," and locked her door. Eventually, we decided to wait for the ambulance appointment. I guess this is why if Romanians have money, they have a private doctor come to them. Just a few days before a young man was telling us that in order to have an operation or see a doctor, the patient must pay extra in cash to the doctor because the government does not pay a living wage to the doctors who work in the state hospitals.
The doctor and his assistant showed up at our hotel room at about 5:30 pm. The doctor, asked Dan a bunch of questions:
1. Date of birth?
2. Do you smoke? How much? Here Dan admitted to only 10 cigarettes per day. At that moment, he might have been correct because he was trying to make his cheap Moldovan cigarettes last until he left Romania (the land of expensive cigarettes).
3. Allergies to medicines?
The doctor listened to Dan's lungs, looked into his throat, and the doctor's assistant checked Dan's blood pressure. The diagnosis was chronic bronchitis. The doctor wrote Dan three prescriptions: antibiotic, nasal/bronchial spray, pain reliever and told him to drink water not Diet Coke.
The fee was 200 ROM ($62 USD). The meds cost 55 ROM ($17 USD). The doctor and his assistant packed up their bags, and we followed them out to see the ambulance. They are driven around in the ambulance from appointment to appointment for their 12-hour shift. A roving doc in an ambulance making house calls is definitely better than a doc in the box.
We did do more than learn about the Romanian medical system. Each evening, weather permitting, a festival of international street artists has been going on. The performers come from all over the world.
Cute costumed creatures (Les Dedes) and Giant Puppets (from France) roamed around old town.
Sometimes, it was raining so hard that the performers had to run for cover.
There were four people in potted plant costumes (The Animated Vases from Italy) and like a Candid Camera gag, they would wait for an unsuspecting passerby and reach out to touch the person.
It was great fun--too bad the weather wasn't more cooperative.