Sunshine, Sand, Angelina Jolie(?), and another LONG ride!
01.08.2011 - 01.08.2011
Good Morning to all our lovely blog followers!
Another sunshine-y and sandy day in Swakopmund! We woke up bright and early for another delicious breakfast at the Guest House and then we were off to the Mediclinic Cottage in Swakopmund. Where we met with the hospital manager. He informed us all about private hospitals in Namibia, and we were all very surprised to learn that in Namibia (and Africa in general) different aspects of the hospital are viewed as different businesses. For example, if I broke my leg, say... sandboarding? and I was taken to mediclinic I would first see a general emergency doctor, after they decided I need an X Ray on my leg I would go to an X Ray tech who then would send me to another doctor to get a cast on my leg. When I would receive my bill for this hospital trip it would NOT be just one huge, depressing bill, like in the USA. Instead, I would receive a depressing expensive bill for each individual service. The hospital does not pay the doctors and X Ray techs, instead they just provide the facilities for these people to practice in. I found this interesting and I am curious if this saves patients money, or cost them more in the big picture?
We then spoke with the hospital manager about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Namibia and Africa in general. He, I would personally say, had a VERY laid back view of the crisis. He seemed to feel that it was under control and not as big as "the media hypes it to be." It is important to remember that he is a hospital manager at a private hospital, I feel like the story maybe different if we spoke to the manager of a public, government run hospital.
Our tour got pretty exciting when we found out about one famous celebrity who gave birth at the hospital though...drum roll.... Angelina Jolie! She gave birth to Shiloh Pitt at Mediclinic and apparently, from the story we heard it was quiteeee the operation. They had to sneak her and Brad in through the kitchen and all of the staff had to sign "silence" agreements. The hospital manager was very pleased with how well they had kept the secret and was very excited to show us the thank you card, as well as the ACTUAL room Angelina gave birth in.
After our tour of the hospital (and a very long visit to theee Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt room and pictures...) we headed back to the downtown area of Swakopmund for a quick lunch and some shopping at the local market. Then we were back to the good ol' kombi for a 5 hour ride back to Windhoek.