And the winner is…

a Discovery 3, for now. Just one or 2 little issues to be sorted out, one is the maintenance plan and Chris says if it’s not as long as they say it is, then we’ll get the new Freelander. So the deal is, I drive it and see how it goes. If I find it’s too big then Chris has promised to buy me a brand new smaller car (Tiguan) after a year and he’ll sell his Mini and drive the Discovery. I think I will actually like it but we’ll have to also see as next year Zoe starts at Collegiate and it will mean a lot more driving up and down. The plan is to keep it for 3 years (unless we absolutely love it) and when the maintenance plan is finished then look to buy a new Discovery or something else. Chris is still keen on a Prado but everyone says the new Prado isn’t nearly as good as the previous model and doesn’t come close to the Discovery. The only reason he is leaning towards the Prado is that Toyota’s are generally cheaper to fix than Land Rovers and they tend to keep their value a bit better.

Chris is insanely busy at work at the moment. Every year we forget just how crazy this time of the year is. Everyone obviously wants to be looking their best for the festive season or maybe they’re spending their bonuses or just keen to have surgery done while they’re on leave. I know I mustn’t complain but it’s amazing how life has changed. I am definitely “earning” my SAHM money these days and I’m even starting to earn my official salary from his practice as well. Only slight issue is that most of my job entails dealing with medical aid call centres and they really are the pits. I did have the nicest lady ever the other day – she was from GEMS, such a sweetie pie and we had a nice little chat but so far the rest aren’t great. They often ask me all sorts of personal stuff about the patient’s condition or op and it’s really none of their business, the codes are the codes and they are not trained medical personnel and neither is it my business, it’s between the patient and the doctor. Quite a few of them have this crazy system where you have to speak to an automated lady. It takes forever as she keeps repeating herself and checking that what she’s heard is what you said. It is a painful process and another example of why PE is a friendly city.

In Joburg or Cape Town doctors charge you 2 and 3 times the recommended medical aid rate (twice is probably justified) and then just give you all the codes and you need to sort everything out with your medical aid yourself.  If there are any issues with payment then it’s just tough luck, pay your account and sort out the medical aid yourself. Here I am fighting with patients’ medical aids on their behalf so that they won’t have hassles down the line. This week I fought and lost a fight against the big, bad Discovery. It’s all to do with that young man with the cancer. He has exhausted his medical savings with all the chemo and other treatment he’s had to have. According to his specific plan, he has to go to a certain hospital in PE and there aren’t any plastic surgeons based at that hospital. Despite this fact Disc@very refuse to let him go to any other hospital unless he pays a R4150 co-payment. I can understand this argument if there is a plastic surgeon at this hospital but there isn’t. That means Chris has to go and do this op after 7pm at night, because he doesn’t usually operate there and they are being quite difficult about it all. Most doctors would just say too bad so sad, I operate at this hospital and just pay the money but Chris isn’t like that. Because of this his day on Monday is as follows: 7.45am start morning theatre list till 12.30pm, rush to St Georges and see 20 patients between 1pm and 7pm and then rush to Mercantile to do the 2h30min operation on this guy. Once he gets home he’ll still have to type and file (electronically) all his op notes and consultation notes from the day which usually takes a good couple of hours. The patient will need to stay in hospital for 3 nights and so for the next 3 days Chris must try to squeeze time into his already hectic day to visit a patient at a hospital that he never goes to and isn’t close to where he works all because of the t@ssers at Disc@very.

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