Just when I thought the culture of delivery in this country couldn't get any better, I discover that even health care is made for our convenience.
I go to the clinic today to pick up a refill of my asthma medication (which, miraculously, I have all but given up since moving to Cairo) and tell the Doctor I've been feeling a little sluggish. She says, no problem, why don't we run a blood test to see if your iron is ok. Great. She writes out a referral and sends me to the receptionist to get the numbers of labs in our area.
Can I go to any lab, I ask?
The receptionist looks at me like: "Why is you foreigners so crazy?"
Turns out I just call a little 4 digit "hotline" and the clinic comes to your house, where a lovely (I like to assume) technician takes your blood. He/ she then returns to the lab and sends the results directly to my Doctor. When the receptionist tells me this, she leans in a little and says: "You might have to pay a delivery charge of 5LE (less than $1 US)" and looks at me apologetically, like she would waive the charge if she could. As if I am going to jump up with indignation and yell: "No way lady, I will not pay 80 cents for this service!" Uh, yeah.
I know what you are thinking: we are among a priviledged few who are lucky enough to have private insurance. It is true. But it is also true that all Egyptians have universal access to basic healthcare. There are many government hospitals and clinics all around the city and even the private hospitals perform a great number of pro bono cases. And (I'll have to make sure about this) blood test house calls are available to all who are referred to main labs.
Beat that, OHIP.