Getting my cast of in Russian clinic hell

This actually happened about three weeks ago when I got my cast off but I’ve only just gotten around to writing about it. Nothing too amazing here, but I just thought I’d give you all a small glimpse into the bullshit mine that is my experience of the Russian medical system.
Saturday started out ok, went back to the clinic (this one was a private one near where I live), the surgeon who took the cast off wasn’t a douche like the one before and wasn’t condensing in any way. He checked out the hand and said for me to head up to the 4th floor to get that bitch x-rayed, unfortunately, this was where the magic promise and potential of Saturday ended and the Russian redtape tobacco enema began.

I got up to the 4th floor with my girlfriend, my proverbial rock of support, only to find about 10 people waiting in the x-ray line. Super. Where things get fucked up is in the system of receiving patients, which ill give a quick description of bellow.  

Most queues are divided into two: those with an appointment at a set time and those who are sent “urgently” by a doctor on the day. The problem is that when there are many patients, the schedule falls further and further behind with you never knowing when you’re getting to get in there.

Back to business

So here I am, wondering whether I’ll be called after all the “appointment” guys or before somehow (I was in the “urgent group”), of course, when one appointment patient that leaves, another one shows up. About one hour later I was getting pissed and making my girlfriend ask plenty of questions, which in turn was pissing her off. One of the desk staff finally allotted us a time of 5.45, fucking two more hours. I was like, let’s just walk home, but she wanted to stay just encase we got in earlier so I agreed to wait more, anger building all the way. We got closer to the door, giving false hope, but eventually I just couldn’t handle people turning up with appointments and breezing straight passed us. I said fuck it, we have another hour, lets head to the metro (5 mins away) and sit in a cafe for a bit as I was getting pretty hungry. So that’s what we did.

Cut to an hour later and we’re back in the shit with a surprise prepared for us.
Since we left for food, they had decided that we weren’t coming back and went ahead and cancelled my appoint saying that the next time would be at 7 at which moment I was mad enough to physically assault a pensioner. Luckily my girlfriend managed to sweet talk the bitch and they X-rayed me pretty quick, which took less than 5 minutes followed by a 20 minute wait for the X-ray. After 15 minutes they come out and say they need to take another as the first was no good, the dance begins again and the X-ray was ready 25 minutes later.

Back to the surgeon who was surprised to see us again, hand looks ok, no heavy masturbation for one month and I’m good to go. All in all, it took about four hours to get an X-ray done that took 5 minutes.

4 fucking hours, but the worst was yet to come.


This magical day me and my girlfriend had to go to the local free clinic to get her sick note signed off (in Russia you get a sick note “opened” when you’re ill and then “closed” when you are healthy again), unfortunately, to get it signed off, you need to venture down into the hell that is the Russian free clinic.  

So here we are again, knee deep in the shit, and with no leather sofas for comfort. Little did I realise just how good I had it sat down on the leather chairs in the paid clinic. We’re now back in the standard long queue made up of pensioners, some possible drug addicts and other types.

After the first hour, the anger set in. I was quietly ranting in English, swearing incoherently and just waiting to find an object to smash, I couldn’t believe how this was happening. I was, again, hungry and trapped in a fucking clinic. Same shit as before, urgent, appointment etc. Each patient was taking 10 minutes on average with the doc and they just kept coming like rats out of a cheburek stand.

Every time a new person came in, he/she would ask: who is next? To which a select couple of babushkas would describe, in full detail, who was there with what time, who was next and who had been waiting how long - every time a new person came in the process repeated, over and over again (this happens in Sberbank too). At 5 o clock there were people waiting who had appointments for 4 o clock, no fucking joke.  

After a while I stopped feeling rage and emotion generally, I had been broken and was quietly waiting, like a zombie. Like a true Russian, I resigned myself to my fate, because like in Russia as a whole, there was not a damn thing I could do about it. You know, it was like I had been sent to Russian prison and my cellmate was the 200lb head of the white Slavic brotherhood with a passion for English middle class man/boys (technically I am a man, but I look young, so yeah...), you know what’s going to happen, and all you can do is say “Vladimir, be gentle”.

About two hours in a pseudo system formed of one urgent, one appointment and we eventually got the sick note signed off but guess what? It took 4 fucking hours, again! Four hours sitting in one room, try that shit out sometime.
I had a lifetime supply of Russian clinic love, all in the space of two days but let this be a lesson to you guys out there reading this: if you are heading to a clinic or hospital, even if you think you’ll be quick, take some entertainment materials with you, books, Japanese anime porn, games, music, whatever, just be prepaid for the worst!

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