A federal constitutional republic, the United States of America is composed of fifty states and a federal district. The USA has a total land area of 9.83 million kilometres squared and a population of more than 300 million. It holds the distinction of being the world’s largest economic country, with a total GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of US$ 13 trillion in 2006.
Healthcare in the USA - Finding a doctor
Being a highly-industrialized nation, finding a doctor in the United States is not difficult at all. There are hundreds of medical practitioners to be found in every state. However, you will have to find a practice that accepts new patients. Once there, you will then be asked to state your medical history and fill out some forms. If possible, ask for a copy of your medical records from your previous doctor before you travel, that way you will have a detailed account of your medical history. This will also help your new doctor to keep track of your health.
Emergencies in the USA
In the event of an emergency and where you cannot get to the hospital yourself, you can call 911 and request an ambulance to assist you. The 911 medical staff are trained to handle any emergency situation. It is important to note that the utilisation of the ambulance service will likely result in a large fee being charged. However, if you do not want to be taken to the hospital during an emergency, you can always seek treatment from your doctor. Additionally, if you are still capable of taking yourself to the emergency room, call the hospital ahead so that when you arrive the medical staff will be expecting you.
Hospitals in the United States
Major cities and states in the US normally have a number of hospitals. But in small cities and in rural towns, there may only be one. Rural areas are unlikely to have standard hospitals. Before you relocate to the United States, try to do some research and obtain a list of hospital names in the place you are moving to. The major hospitals in the United States are equipped with the latest in medical technologies. The doctors, surgeons, specialists, and medical staff are well-trained and have attended the top universities in the country. Generally speaking, the healthcare is excellent. However, excellent healthcare does not come cheap.
Paying for your hospital treatments
You will need to have some proof of your insurance and show it at the front desk of the hospital. In emergency cases the doctor’s treatment will precede any payment or insurance issues. You will also be expected to pay the medical treatments before you leave. Even if you have health insurance (which is strongly recommended), you are still required to pay a portion of the cost. The rest of your hospital bills will then be sent to you through mail.
Prescriptions in the United States
Prescription drugs are normally available at drugstores. Pharmacists are present to provide you with drugs and the necessary instructions on how to take the prescribed medicines.
Finding a Dentist in the US
Follow similar procedures as you would in finding a doctor.