Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Fairy tales

So yesterday we went to the Hospital for a tour. Actually it wasn´t so much a tour as sitting in a room and talking with an Austrian doctor, which was still pertty interesting but I think most of us would have liked to see a bed or something. Especially since in Austria the only reason people have private insurance is to upgrade their hospital rooms. In Austria (and most of Europe) healthcare is free (kinda). It is mandated by the state and everyone pays into sickness funds through their employment so whenever anything si wrong they´re covered. Yesterday we learned that this means doctors make only $3000 a month (that´s $36,000 a year). This also means Doctors tend to overexamine patients becuase they are required to do everything in thier power to make patients better. (so they x-ray and do blood tests on almost everyone who comes into the hospital). Many of the doctors work 40 hour weeks at the hospital and then have private practices to supplement their income so they can survive. That´s a lot of hours of work! And the Austrian system covers EVERYTHING, from sniffles, to prescriptions, to transplants. It even covers abortions and in vitro fertilization!

After the hospital we went to the Kunsthistoriche Museum which houses the royal family´s collection of ....stuff. They have more mummies and ancient Egyptian artifacts than I have ever seen before!!!! I don´t exactly understand why Austria has all this Egyptian stuff, but who am I to question. The museum also housed a great art museum with German, Italian, Flemish, and French artists.

We rounded the evening off by attending Rodger´s and Hammerstein´s Cinderella at the Rathouse. (Rathouse means city hall). They set up a huge screen and we sat and enjoyed the movie under the stars. It was the Julie Andrew´s version and it was in English!!!!! I miss English! It was a great way to end the day!

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