One of the biggest differences between the UK and Cayman is the healthcare. As a Brit I’ve been privileged to grow up with the NHS and never really knowing the true cost of healthcare; the most I ever paid for medical treatment at home was £12 when picking up a prescription. Here in Cayman there is no national health service, so health insurance is compulsory and is deducted monthly from my wage. We get quite a comprehensive package with the company I work for so it costs in the region of $300 a month, which my boss pays half of.
I hadn’t really had to use my insurance until recently. I won’t go into the issues I’ve been having but there is a small medical problem that needs to be dealt with before I go off island for summer and it may require minor surgery. (Nothing serious, don’t worry mum!)
Getting an appointment at the docs here is remarkably easy. You call up and more often than not they have an available slot within 2 days – not like in the UK where you’re more likely to wait a minimum of a week! The clinic I go to is also really near my house which is always convenient. It has what I’d describe as a distinct “island look” to it from the outside, but inside it looks like any other doctor’s office I’ve ever visited.
The actual doctor experience is pretty much the same as home, other than the fact that on every visit I’ve had so far I’ve been “triaged” on the way in; that is to say I’ve been measured, weighed and had my blood pressure taken. This was fine when I was a brand new patient and would even be okay if I hadn’t been for a while, but I’ve been 3 times in the last 3 weeks – how much can really have changed?!
My doctor is very friendly and to the point. She’s also British which sort of made me feel at home too. The only thing that brought me back to earth with a bump was having to get my purse out as I left; yes, even with insurance I have to pay a $20 fee for every doctor’s appointment. The price of privatised healthcare! But still the service is good and the waiting times so much shorter than home so I can’t complain too much.
Hopefully my “little problem” will be sorted out soon – I’m expecting a call today to confirm my surgery but as everybody here is on island time I suspect I might be waiting a little longer. As with all island things, soon come…