Last month I sent Emily to see my doctor at his surgery for a complete check-up. The normal health care service in this country requires that you go to the clinic, wait in line with hundreds of other patients and perhaps you get to see the doctor. If not, you go back to the clinic again the next day, wait in line with hundreds of other patients and hopefully this time you see the doctor.
Going the “paying” route enabled Emily to sit in the surgery, see the doctor at the appointed time and have a thorough examination. My doctor checked her from head to toe and because she is a middle-aged woman, he took blood samples to check her hormones, blood pressure levels and cholestrol.
At the beginning of this week, she had to go the clinic for the results of the blood tests. I’d arranged with her daughter, Erica to come in and work until her mother arrived. For Emily to be first at the clinic, I fetched her and Erica at 6.30am, an hour earlier than normal. On other days when I drive through, the township is already alive with activity. This particular morning was very different. Moemaneng, which has more than 55,000 inhabitants, had not yet begun to stir. The commuters and workers where still waking up. It was also school holidays, so there were no children walking along the roads.