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Everybody in our country has the right to choose a doctor and many people go to one family doctor. At present two types of health facilities operate in this country: state and private ones.
Medical care is provided for our citizens from birth to death. Each of us is looked after even before birth under the scheme called prenatal care which includes medical check-ups before the child is born and then mater-nity ward services. Soon after birth each child is vaccinated against such illnesses as tuberculosis (TB), diphthe-ria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and later smallpox. Due to vaccination and better hygiene these illnesses have either disappeared or are not fatal any more.
Each school child is under medical supervision which means that he or she has to undergo a series of pre-ventive medical and dental check ups where his body is examined, his teeth checked and eyesight tested.

When we grow out of our children’s diseases such as a cold, otitis, measles, mumps, rubeola or chicken-pox we do not have to go to the doctor so often. If we are not hypochondriacs we try to get over our cold easily by staying in bed, taking pills, keeping warm, sweating, gargling and drinking herbal tea with honey or lemon. But sometimes if a patient is trying to overcome a feverish sickness without staying in bed and curing it properly, he takes a risk, as the illness often leaves very dangerous aftereffects.

If we still feel unwell, we finally decide to see a physician who is called a General Practitioner (GP). It is better to make an appointment with the doctor in his surgery time (during his office hours) if we want to avoid long waiting in the waiting room which may often be crowded. Then the nurse says “Next please” and invites us into the consulting room. The nurse has to look for our medical record and wants to see our insurance card and then takes our temperature. Then we are ready to enter the surgery (consulting room). The doctor usually asks what the trouble is and then asks us to strip to the waist because he or she must examine our chest and throat. The doctor wants to know if we have a temperature, a good appetite and where we feel pain. Then he or she listens to our lungs and heart and we have to take a deep breath or stop breathing according to his orders. He also wants us to open our mouth and say “Ah” to see if our tonsils are red. Sometimes he or she checks the blood pressure and feels the pulse, takes the blood count and throat culture or puts urine through lab tests. We have to say how we feel, if we have a headache, a sore throat, a cold, a cough, or if we are sick and hoarse.

Finally the doctor diagnoses the case and therapy and prescribes a medicine. Most often we suffer from a common infection such as flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis or pneumonia. At the pharmacy (at the chemist’s in Britain) we get antibiotics, vitamins, pain relievers and gargle. We can also buy some medicinal herbs to prepare herbal tea.
In more serious cases of if we get injured we can call the doctor to our home. Sometimes we may be taken to hospital by an ambulance. In case of unconsciousness or heart attack the patient is put on a stretcher. For car accidents a special helicopter may be called up. Sometimes it is necessary to give first aid such as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, to stop bleeding or fix fractures.

In the hospital the injured people are examined and X-rayed at a casualty ward (emergency room). Serious cases are immediately operated on in the operating theatre (room). Before the operation the patient must pass several tests and then just before the operation he is anaesthetized by means of an injection or inhalation of a narcotic. There he undergoes water treatment, takes baths, massage, remedial exercises and drinks the waters.
However, there are fatal illnesses like cancer or AIDS which are incurable so far. But the best way to cure yourself of a disease is not to catch it, because prevention is better than cure. We can keep our health by physical training, hardening our body, through sport, regular daily routine, sufficient sleep, wholesome food and avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and stress.

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