Karen Haggerty

Writer & Clinical Hypnotherapist

No queue for the doctor...


No queue for the doctor

Another Haggerty has been to visit Dr. Frank during this holiday. We are fast becoming regulars to his tiny surgery in this small village where the bears sometimes roam. My son arrived from London on Saturday evening feeling ‘anyhow’ as my Nan used to call it. That part in between feeling rough and being ill. As he was feeling much worse the by Monday, morning a trip to Dr Frank for him was on the cards.

On arrival – and no stopping at the dentist’s next door, Dr Frank, our holiday hero, diagnoses Pharyngitis and prescribes penicillin. No need to drive around searching, for the chemist is just downstairs. He is served by an elegant middle-aged Slovakian lady who Frank lunches with each day at our guesthouse. The whole process takes less than 30 minutes!

We sit in the dining room later, when my son takes his pills, amazed at how fast it all took to get sorted out. An emergency, same day appointment is hard to come by back in Wimbledon. We can have one but only after explaining why it’s needed to a receptionist who is not medically trained. and sometimes hard to understand. My thirty-five-year-old son does not remember the days when we could simply turn up at the doctor’s in England and wait our turn.

My children mostly grew up in Portugal where the small local hospital was used as a doctor’s surgery. This village is a little like Portugal in the 1980s. But there we lived in a town called Lagos with a population of 12,000 people: this tiny Slovak village is home to under 1,000. Our guesthouse here is fondly called the billet (the name I give to all our holiday accommodation). It is not what I would class as a holiday ‘hotel’ but more a passing-through, bed-for-a-night-or-two place. We have workmen, families and older couples sleeping in the other seven bedrooms. We are occupying three of the ten rooms on offer. I have eight bedrooms and eight toilets at our house in Wimbledon so not much different to here! Just a few more people and I have a hotplate to make tea and cook in my bedroom!