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5-11 March 2001
Eighth week: Break

6 March 2001:
Last week, Rosmarie read John le Carré's latest novel "The constant gardener". She was impressed and asked me to read it, too. It deals with all kinds of issues, one of which is globalized pharmaceutical industry. Obviously, le Carré was quite surprised what he found out during his research for the book. In an "Author's Note" at the end of the book, he writes:

As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realise that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard.
Now, this comment is incentive enough to start reading this book as soon as possible. On a different aspect: I'm wondering whether Non-Fiction has become so creative, that Fiction can't keep up with the creative madness anymore. It takes a lot of good quality madmen (and perhaps madwomen, too) to set up the machinery of globalized economies and make it the juggernaut it has become.

8 March 2001:
I am sleepy as can be. I enjoy sleeping 12-14 hours a day, can't get enough of it. I do hope that I sleep myself to health.

I'm a bit concerned that swallowing has become a bit less elegant during the last days as I seem to have developed a sore esophagus again. I'll tell the doc tomorrow and if necessary on Monday again, when I will meet the gastro-doc.

Probably the most significant change of the past weeks has taken place regarding nutrition. I am very much into fruits and yoghurts rather than into anything else. In general, I seem to prefer "sweet" against "salty" stuff. Sounds like I regress back to year 1, eh?

9 March 2001:
The visit with the General Practicioner was short and eventless, well if one disregards a 45 min. waiting period. The reasons are twofold and simple:

1. My GP was on sick leave today.

2. His deputy had no idea whatsoever who I was etc. So I suggested I better talk with the gastroenterologist on Monday than with her. She happily agreed.

Afterwards I drove to the Disease Insurance Office to check another reminder of a bill, which I had received yesterday. I thought, the bill was paid in full, but to my surprise the lady behind the counter told me that in this case, I had to pay A$123.65 from my private bank account.

I was surprised as the bill referred to the implantation of the catheter and my feeling was that this was clearly hospital-related, i.e. the Insurance pays the bill. Wrong.

There's the "scheduled fee" again, and Medicare pays 75%, private insurance 25%, and everything beyond the "scheduled fee" has to be paid by the patient. In other words, the doc was greedy enough to put some extra-money on the bill after implanting the catheter. - Y'know, I am not warned how much he puts on the bill, they don't announce their greed in public.

I returned home, went straight to bed, and slept for 2 hours to recover from this totally irresponsible Disease Administration and Management System, which is nothing else but a license for the medical profession to print money.

Send lawyers, guns, and money - Warren Zevon.

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