Want to Immigrate? Talk to a Psychiatrist First.


ONE OF THE MANY HOOPS YOU HAVE TO JUMP THROUGH IN ORDER TO GAIN A RESIDENCY VISA IS TO VISIT THE STATE PSYCHIATRIST

We had to know somebody to get an appointment without first having to get there at dawn to wait in line. Fortunately, we did know a nurse, and she got us a couple of numbers so we only had to wait two hours. This is the public hospital, the one that is free for all citizens, and it’s the one where works the psychiatrist who approves or disproves applicants for residency. Believe me, there is not a bus station in the States that is dirtier or more unattractive than this hospital.

PSYCHIATRIST 019
(this is the sign on the door to the psychiatrist’s office)

We found a bench to sit on near her office, but there was a poop smell coming from someplace nearby, which probably explains why it wasn’t already occupied. We arrived at seven a.m., and some people who had spent the night waiting for an appointment the next day still had their mattresses unrolled.

There was only one functioning bathroom, and that was down in front of the emergency room. When I used it, I held by breath and did my business as quickly as possible. There were only two toilets and two urinals in a building that several hundred people. The hallways were lined with waiting parents and children.

When our turn finally came, my son went in first. She told him she could not approve him for residency until she had seen his test results for his blood tests, chest X-ray and electro cardio gram. No one had told us we had to do the tests in a certain order, so we learned we will have to go through the waiting process again.

Fortunately, if you’re rich enough to have medical insurance, there are alternatives to such hospitals. I don’t know what they’re like, and I’d rather not find out, but it would be truly terrible if this is would be what I had to look forward to in the event of a medical crisis.

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