10. Health and Food
Medical care of any type in our country is free of charge, although there are now many private doctors. We do not pay for prescriptions or for some medicines. As to financial help after giving birth, mothers get benefits for three years after the birth of a child. For the first 26 weeks she gets 90 per cent of her pay and for the rest of her maternity leave she gets fewer benefits. Then comes medical and social care during the pre-school and school age, up to old age. Employers pay health insurance for their employees but everybody can pay extra money for his/her health insurance. If we fall ill or if we have an accident, we go to the Health Centre, Policlinic, Hospital or to some Private Doctor.
There are various types of medical treatment for our different types of troubles. A doctor may ask you to strip to the waist before he/she examines your chest and throat. They check our blood pressure, feel the pulse or put our blood or urine through lab-tests. Sometimes they may X-ray our lungs or bones. We must go through many types of vaccination during our lives. Dentists may check our teeth and sometimes pull out one of them or drill and fill them. Doctors usually prescribe some medicines to us – pills, antibiotics, gargles, or sleeping pills. They may also tell us to go on a diet. There are various types of physicians who treat various diseases and disorders. They are e.g., GP (general practitioners). Each person should undergo a regular check-up at least once a year. However we usually go to see our doctor when we do not feel well or have an elevated temperature.
We can suffer from various illnesses beginning with common childhood diseases. Usually we suffer from common infections such as colds, influenza, or the „stomach flu“. In such cases we usually stay in bed, drink herbal teas, take pills, drops or vitamins and after a week or two we feel well again. However the situation may sometimes be more serious and need special treatment in the hospital, e.g. heart attack, breaking an arm or leg. There are still diseases which can’t be cured such as cancer or AIDS. It is true that prevention is better than a cure. We should try to live a healthy way of life, which means we should have a good proportion of work to leisure time. We should practice sports, at least swim or go for walks, we should eat healthy food with lots of vitamins, we should not smoke or drink too much alcohol.