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We hear from so many of you who are concerned about what quality of medical care would be available if you were to join us here in South America. This editor has decided to include a heart-to-heart discussion about our newest experience with medical care here.

As you all know, it is our policy here at Four Flags Journal, in case of medical problems, to straighten up our lifestyle and get our immune system genuinely healthy instead of covering symptoms with chemical prescriptions while the condition only gets worse and the prescription causes side effects which eventually require more prescriptions to control the side effects in a gradual downward spiral. We avoid allopathic medicine except in the case of an accident or broken bone, in which case you certainly need a doctor.

But we are also known to consult an M.D. for diagnosis. Sometimes it is good to know exactly what you are dealing with. In all cases we caution never go off a prescription except under the watchful eye of your health care provider. To do otherwise can be dangerous. Our policy is to correct the lifestyle and reduce the medication as it is no longer required.

Two weeks ago this editor suddenly experienced near blindness in one eye. Since I do see an ophthalmologist for regular eye exams and do wear reading glasses, I didn’t think I had any eye condition that would warrant these symptoms. I made an appointment to see a docter who was recommended by a trusted Argentina friend. The clinic is Kaufer Clinica de Ojos and you can see it HERE. We are not advertising this clinic. There are many good doctors here. In fact, we have another regular ophthalmologist that we like very much. This was only a precautionary visit to confirm the regular doctor’s analysis of the health of my eyes, aside from this new development The exam in the Kaufer Clinic did confirm that the assessment of our regular specialist was accurate.

While our intention is not to advertise the Kaufer clinic above other excellent doctors, we hope that perusing their web site and seeing what this one clinic offers will help to give you confidence in our part of South America from a medical standpoint. This particular clinic is located in Martinez, a subdivision of Buenos Aires.

Were we impressed? Completely. I had never even seen some of the equipment this doctor has in his clinic. I think they must have run every possible test on my eyes. Then he told me that he thought it w as a tiny break in a blood vessel, causing a small thrombosis (clot). They even took me to a scanner, scanned the eye and showed me the picture on a screen and explained it.

However, he said then that he still would like for me to return the next business day–Monday–and see his retina specialist. I did. On Monday I went through another battery of tests. The retina specialist gave me the same diagnosis. He said he thought nature would take its course and I would be seeing very well again in about three weeks. And indeed my vision has already begun to improve.

The total cost? The equivalent of $60.00 US for each visit. They want me back in three weeks but there will be no charge for the follow up.

There is one more fact about Argentina that might interest you. If you so choose, you can have medical care free of charge. You don’t even have to be a resident here. My choice in Argentina is always to pay my way. It is just what I choose to do. But for those who do not, from all reports we get, the free medical care is very good. If you have not read our previous articles about Argentina, you probably should because there are things about Argentina, just as in every other country, that are far from ideal and we want to give you a balanced picture. As for medical care, this is what you will find here.

Our experience in Chile a few years ago was equally good. We have little experience with medical services in Uruguay but from what we hear, excellent care is available there. You can also get free care in Uruguay but one doctor at the free clinic in Uruguay recommended private care. He told us that was better because sometimes there is not enough money to even buy gloves at the free clinic.

We receive many questions on this subject as people consider the prospect of leaving their own trusted medical providers. We acknowledge that medical care in the U. S. is good. In fact, it seems to us that most of the doctors here were trained in the United States. However, we remind you that in every rating of the health of the advanced nations–every single one we have seen–the U.S. is last.

We have known expats who developed a problem and took the next available fight north. For our part we would stay right here.

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