The Marvelous Spanish Health System
From about day 3, Pat mentioned that she was getting headaches, and in fact on the descent down into Zubiri, she felt a little bit dizzy.
By the time we got to Estella, we went into a pharmacy. They took one look and then said, “She needs to see a doctor!”
They sent us to the local health center, the Centro de Salud. And so we went in there and found a wonderful Spanish doctor who, when she realised we didn’t speak Spanish, immediately brought up Google translate! She must be used to dealing with pilgrims from all over the world.
She did blood pressure, checked the eyes, the heart, and she came to the conclusion as Pat doesn’t mainly do a lot of exercise, the climb over the Pyrenees has actually been quite of a shock to the system, and also linked with climbing in altitude, had probably brought up the headaches. She has managed to contract conjunctivitis, which is inflammation of the eyes.
Anyway, she’s now a little more relaxed, and the knowledge that she’s not about to have a stroke or a heart attack, things seem to be in control.
On the way out of the medical centre, we dropped back into the reception to ask how much we ought to pay, and they said nothing to pay! I had often heard this happening in the Camino, but it’s a very nice feeling you have that level of support.
I’m sure they are actually supposed to charge us because we don’t have a reciprocal health system between Australia and Spain, but obviously some of the health centres and doctors just like to help out.