Tuesday 24th February 2015
I really must have willed it to happen: Kingsley falling ill while we are not medically insured. You see, for the past few days, while the weather has been atrocious, I have not been able to get my mind away from the thought of our boy needing medical attention sooner rather than later. Thoughts of prohibitively expensive treatment have ruffled me, but as he is still breast feeding, I truly believed he would be immune to the microbes pooling in the squally air of this year’s winter.
Silly me! Dubai’s annual four day shamal and its uncharacteristically cold and windy weather conditions have whipped up coughs, colds, asthma attacks and bronchial spasms in thousands of little ones. Kingsley’s symptoms at nursery prompted a phone call to me. Fever and chesty cough, nurse said. Shall we administer baby panadol, they asked. Best you come take him to see a doctor. You’ll find Kingsley in the nurses station…
This was my nightmare manifesting: to be an ex-pat in a very expensive host nation, with no safety net. But I am a resourceful lady, and I had done my homework prior to that phone call and learned that women like me, with babies like Kingsley are welcome at certain government clinics, and the one in the catchment that we belong to, happens to be a brilliant one.
So off to Mankhool Clinic we went, Kings and I. The child is registered immediately by kindly staff, is given a membership card and welcomed into the play area (which can rival Hummingbird for all the toys it possessed). Assessment conducted by nurse, consultation by spectacular doctor completed, prescription written and administration of medications done, all within its welcoming walls.
We are now part of government health system, and could not be happier!