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COVID Leon medical care COVID?

catgnat

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
France camino beginning September 2022
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
 
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dbier

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Last 114km Camino Frances, Jul 21
2023 - Camino P
IMO, You might want a Centro de Salud versus an ER - even good US travel insurance wont pay for an ER visit in a non- emergency ( i.e., you can breathe without O2). TBH, up to 72 hrs between symptoms and first antiviral is not clinically significant, unless you're severely immunocompromised. Aaaand it's anyone's guess (or the WHO and EU) whether Spain has access to the antiviral you're seeking.

Best of luck.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Aaaand it's anyone's guess (or the WHO and EU) whether Spain has access to the antiviral you're seeking.
In Spain, you are likely to find that medical staff will prescribe the most appropriate available medication based on your signs and symptoms. This is quite different, it appears, from the US, where medication advertising is allowed and patients might have already formed a view about what medications they want irrespective of their lack of formal medical qualifications.
 

catgnat

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
France camino beginning September 2022
In Spain, you are likely to find that medical staff will prescribe the most appropriate available medication based on your signs and symptoms. This is quite different, it appears, from the US, where medication advertising is allowed and patients might have already formed a view about what medications they want irrespective of their lack of formal medical qualifications.
you know nothing of my situation and knowledge. your judgmental comments are inappropriate and lacking in empathy.
 
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longwayhome

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
Good plan, no rush but useful in the first few days of symptoms. The rules vary country by country as to who gets what and for what indications . I will be interested to read how this goes for you. In Australia a private course (no Government subsidy) to take on your international travels is available to buy at almost $1200 Aus dollars on doctors private prescription. For mild Covid it may still be cheaper to take a course with you from your country of origin. And I hope you feel better soon!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
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So sorry @catgnat! Bummer. You could try a private hospital but be prepared to pay handsomely for what you get.

you know nothing of my situation and knowledge. your judgmental comments are inappropriate and lacking in empathy.
Where's the judgement, @catgnat? Or lack of empathy? I just read a statement of fact, that's confirmed by Rebekah's experience:
I live in Spain and have had Covid there.
Antivirals are only given to people with serious symptoms or risk factors that require hospital admission.
Or at least that was the case last February, when I was hospitalized.
We don't know your situation, of course, or your qualifications. But you may find antivirals are not so easily gotten than in the US.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
you know nothing of my situation and knowledge. your judgmental comments are inappropriate and lacking in empathy.
@catgnat, Let me suggest that you re-read my comments with an open mind because quite clearly you haven't.

I agree that I only know as much as you have shared, but my post does not even address any part of that. It is quite specific about a comment by @dbier that might have suggested you wouldn't get access to specific medication, which might have suggested that you would be offered less than optimal medical care. My post offered the advice that if you were to seek medical treatment, you would be offered 'the most appropriate available medication based on your signs and symptoms'. Its sad to think that you are not comforted by that thought, but I hardly think that lacks empathy!
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
You are sick, you are in a foreign country and it seems you have no companion to help you. That is not a good situation to be in, but before you put yourself through the stress of navigating a foreign medical system, there are a few things it would be useful for you to know:
Firstly, the Spanish public health system is first rate, as I can tell you from personal experience.
Secondly, a Spanish doctor will prescribe precisely the treatment and medication they regard as necessary, no more no less and will flatly refuse to prescribe anything else.
Thirdly, the best place for you to go to would be a Centro de Salud or policlinico, not ER ('Urgencias') unless you have an underlying medical condition that requires immediate or specialist treatment. Alternatively a private hospital will treat you in the same way as a public facility, but at greater cost. There will be a Centro de Salud nearby (use Google Maps or ask in a pharmacy) although it may not be attended every day if it is in a rural area.
Fourthly, you are Covid positive, consider whether you need to enter a medical facility at all.
Fifthly, some medications may be in very short supply in Spain, unobtainable, or unapproved.

I hope you get well soon. I had Covid in Spain too, so I can understand what it must be like for you.
 
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catgnat

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
France camino beginning September 2022
You are sick, you are in a foreign country and it seems you have no companion to help you. That is not a good situation to be in, but before you put yourself through the stress of navigating a foreign medical system, there are a few things it would be useful for you to know:
Firstly, the Spanish public health system is first rate, as I can tell you from personal experience.
Secondly, a Spanish doctor will prescribe precisely the treatment and medication they regard as necessary, no more no less and will flatly refuse to prescribe anything else.
Thirdly, the best place for you to go to would be a Centro de Salud or policlinico, not ER ('Urgencias') unless you have an underlying medical condition that requires immediate or specialist treatment. Alternatively a private hospital will treat you in the same way as a public facility, but at greater cost. There will be a Centro de Salud nearby (use Google Maps or ask in a pharmacy) although it may not be attended every day if it is in a rural area.
Fourthly, you are Covid positive, consider whether you need to enter a medical facility at all.
Fifthly, some medications may be in very short supply in Spain, unobtainable, or unapproved.

I hope you get well soon. I had Covid in Spain too, so I can understand what it must be like for you.
many thanks for all the helpful information
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Alternatively a private hospital will treat you in the same way as a public facility, but at greater cost.
I found costs at public health facilities to be all over the place - from 0€ when I stopped by a Centro de Salud because I needed antibiotics to treat an infection to 350€ for a quick exam at the public hospital in Santiago when I had shin splints - a bill which I didn't receive until I had been home for three months, and which cost me an additional $30 to pay because they would only accept a wire transfer.

I preferred my experience at the private hospital on a subsequent trip because I received a bill at time of service and was able to pay it immediately with credit card. I then had all the paperwork that I needed to submit to my travel insurance for reimbursement. And the cost for that visit which included x-rays and stitches wasn't much higher than the 350€ for the very cursory exam I had received for my shin splints.
 

KLM72

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
So sorry, I don’t have answers but wanted to offer sympathy- I also tested positive yesterday in Leon. I’m pretty miserable but I think I’m okay without a doc right now. Mainly just a moderately high fever w/ accompanying body aches and chills, and really stuffy nose/ears. I hope yours is better soon!!
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I found costs at public health facilities to be all over the place - from 0€ when I stopped by a Centro de Salud because I needed antibiotics to treat an infection to 350€ for a quick exam at the public hospital in Santiago when I had shin splints - a bill which I didn't receive until I had been home for three months, and which cost me an additional $30 to pay because they would only accept a wire transfer.

I preferred my experience at the private hospital on a subsequent trip because I received a bill at time of service and was able to pay it immediately with credit card. I then had all the paperwork that I needed to submit to my travel insurance for reimbursement. And the cost for that visit which included x-rays and stitches wasn't much higher than the 350€ for the very cursory exam I had received for my shin splints.
I know what you mean. I've had to use the Spanish public health system twice, and not been billed either time (as it happens, I'm entitled to free health service in Spain but they didn't even ask my nationality). I think the reason is that it is not a system designed to obtain money from 'customers'. It is designed and mainly financed as a free public health system. However, foreigners are technically not entitled to free treatment unless there is a reciprocal agreement between their country and Spain. I suspect Spanish health professionals often don't bother to go through the paperwork and red tape involved in billing because a) they are very busy and b) they don't believe they should. This would be especially true of a centro de salud but not necessarily a big hospital in a city visited by lots of tourists. Hence the inconsistency.
 
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Suzanne A

Peregrina desde 2015
Time of past OR future Camino
2015 CF, 2016 CP, 2018 Le Puy, 2019 CF,
2022 Prim
Dear Catknat,
So sorry about your + Covid. I had it while in France last year while walking and was so disappointed that I had to stop walking ( as it turned out, got back on the trail after 2 weeks). You will get through this, hope you get the care you need. I was in the ER once in Léon for dehydration on the Frances. I received good care. I speak Spanish and that was helpful as my doctor did not. Keep us posted on your recovery.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
My husband and I are a few days behind you on the Camino Frances. It seems as if everyone around us is coughing and sick. It appears that my husband and I have come down with some sort of virus. We will get tested at the nearest pharmacy. Unfortunately, tomorrow is Sunday and there is no pharmacy in the town that we are staying. We are staying in a private room. However many others who are sick have not been doing that ( hence lots of people are getting sick).
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
In Spain, you are likely to find that medical staff will prescribe the most appropriate available medication based on your signs and symptoms. This is quite different, it appears, from the US, where medication advertising is allowed and patients might have already formed a view about what medications they want irrespective of their lack of formal medical qualifications.
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med.

What you say is true about advertising in the United States. @Cargnat is referring to is the antiviral drug Paxlovid which has proven to be extremely effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness for patients who contract Covid. Right now it is the Gold Standard for mitigating the effects of Covid especially among high risk patients. My brother has Parkinson's and was immediately given Paxlovid as he has a compromised immune system because of his morbidity. He had lingering symptoms for a week or so. There was a pulmonologist in the medical practice he is a patient at. The pulmonologist said his respiratory symptoms would most likely been far more serious without Paxlovid.
The United States government pays for the cost of the treatment.
Also I worked in the medical field for many years, (I am not a doctor) I can tell you that patients may have formed a view of what medication that they want. Much more importantly their doctor will overrule the patients requests if his clinical determination is that there is a more effective or just as effective less expensive alternative (usually a generic but sometimes based on the formulary of the patient's insurance). In cases that there are 3 or 4 choices that are all pretty equal in effectiveness and the cost is the same the doctor will comply with the patients request.
I am sure there a few doctors EVERYWHERE who may cave into patients requests to find an easy way out. These doctors wherever they may practice are practicing malpractice.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I’m
So sorry, I don’t have answers but wanted to offer sympathy- I also tested positive yesterday in Leon. I’m pretty miserable but I think I’m okay without a doc right now. Mainly just a moderately high fever w/ accompanying body aches and chills, and really stuffy nose/ears. I hope yours is be
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
We are so sorry to hear that you are sick. Please keep us all posted as to your progress. We hope you heal quickly.
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
My husband and I are a few days behind you on the Camino Frances. It seems as if everyone around us is coughing and sick. It appears that my husband and I have come down with some sort of virus. We will get tested at the nearest pharmacy. Unfortunately, tomorrow is Sunday and there is no pharmacy in the town that we are staying. We are staying in a private room. However many others who are sick have not been doing that ( hence lots of people are getting sick).
Is there a store in the town where you are that sells self tests?
 
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Gobsmacked by the World

Are we there yet?
Time of past OR future Camino
CF SJPP - SDC 2022
My husband and I are a few days behind you on the Camino Frances. It seems as if everyone around us is coughing and sick. It appears that my husband and I have come down with some sort of virus. We will get tested at the nearest pharmacy. Unfortunately, tomorrow is Sunday and there is no pharmacy in the town that we are staying. We are staying in a private room. However many others who are sick have not been doing that ( hence lots of people are getting sick).
Agreed on coughing all around, it’s respiratory season.
Some of the Albergues sound like a tree-planting camp I’d worked in ages ago. “Camp cough” seems to be going around. Kitchen hygiene in the albergues is nowhere near as good as I saw in the work camp, so not surprising.
I’ve a sniffle and a slight cough, nothing more, but have changed my reservations to hotel rooms instead of albergues, though I did have to take the hit on the fees due to the late cancellation.
I wouldn’t want to be next to some guy coughing, so I decided to not be that guy to others.
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
Agreed on coughing all around, it’s respiratory season.
Some of the Albergues sound like a tree-planting camp I’d worked in ages ago. “Camp cough” seems to be going around. Kitchen hygiene in the albergues is nowhere near as good as I saw in the work camp, so not surprising.
I’ve a sniffle and a slight cough, nothing more, but have changed my reservations to hotel rooms instead of albergues, though I did have to take the hit on the fees due to the late cancellation.
I wouldn’t want to be next to some guy coughing, so I decided to not be that guy to others.
That’s exactly what we’re doing and for the same reason. Take care. Hope you’re completely recovered soon!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
My husband and I are a few days behind you on the Camino Frances. It seems as if everyone around us is coughing and sick. It appears that my husband and I have come down with some sort of virus. We will get tested at the nearest pharmacy. Unfortunately, tomorrow is Sunday and there is no pharmacy in the town that we are staying. We are staying in a private room. However many others who are sick have not been doing that ( hence lots of people are getting sick).
Seeing this on the Primitivo too. plenty of people coughing, sneezing… not testing, and continuing to stay in dorms. I’ve resorted to using private rooms to stay away from it as much as I can, and I brought a pile of tests with me (that I am using) so that I do not unwittingly make someone sick. But I am pretty disgusted at the selfishness of obviously sick people who are not testing… the lack of care for the communities they are walking through…. I am ashamed and sorrowful…
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help
Seeing this on the Primitivo too. plenty of people coughing, sneezing… not testing, and continuing to stay in dorms. I’ve resorted to using private rooms to stay away from it as much as I can, and I brought a pile of tests with me (that I am using) so that I do not unwittingly make someone sick. But I am pretty disgusted at the selfishness of obviously sick people who are not testing… the lack of care for the communities they are walking through…. I am ashamed and sorrowful…
Absolutely agree with you.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
Unfortunately, my husband and I just tested positive for Covid. We are staying in Leon in a private apartment.
 
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KLM72

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
So sorry, I don’t have answers but wanted to offer sympathy- I also tested positive yesterday in Leon. I’m pretty miserable but I think I’m okay without a doc right now. Mainly just a moderately high fever w/ accompanying body aches and chills, and really stuffy nose/ears. I hope yours is better soon!!
As we all know, everyone experiences Covid differently and in my case it’s left me really drained, I foresee no way to start walking again comfortably in the next few days and have decided to end this years camino and fly home next week. I’ll continue to convalesque in my hotel here in Leon until then. Next year, I’ll just pick up where I left off!

Sadly I have learned of multiple other pilgrims currently recovering here as well, so please stay safe and observe whatever precautions you reasonably can everyone!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I’m so sorry to hear that. Did you go to the Hospital HM Regla which is in the middle of the old town? I’m not feeling well at all and am feeling a lot of tightness in my chest so if it gets difficult to breathe it would be good to have a plan in place.
 

KLM72

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
I’m so sorry to hear that. Did you go to the Hospital HM Regla which is in the middle of the old town? I’m not feeling well at all and am feeling a lot of tightness in my chest so if it gets difficult to breathe it would be good to have a plan in place.
No, thankfully mine seems to be concentrated in my head rather than my chest. I’m so sorry yours seems to be in your lungs, I’d definitely seek medical care in that case!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
No, thankfully mine seems to be concentrated in my head rather than my chest. I’m so sorry yours seems to be in your lungs, I’d definitely seek medical care in that case!
My husband’s symptoms were like a cold but I’m not getting off that easy I’m afraid. We’re staying near the Cathedral in an apartment and there is a hospital there if we need it. Hopefully I can get better without that. I hope you recover fully and finish your Camino next year.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
My husband’s symptoms were like a cold but I’m not getting off that easy I’m afraid. We’re staying near the Cathedral in an apartment and there is a hospital there if we need it. Hopefully I can get better without that. I hope you recover fully and finish your Camino next year.


Hope you feel better soon. But please do not hesitate too long for consulting a doctor.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Yearly and Various 2014-2019
Via Monastica 2022
Wow, everybody. It's a wave, and not the kind we usually think about.
May you all get better soon!

But I am pretty disgusted at the selfishness of obviously sick people who are not testing… the lack of care for the communities they are walking through…. I am ashamed and sorrowful
May you stay well, @Perambulating Griffin. I'm sorry you're in the middle of all that - in your shoes I'd be hopping mad.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Wow, everybody. It's a wave, and not the kind we usually think about.
May you all get better soon!


May you stay well, @Perambulating Griffin. I'm sorry you're in the middle of all that - in your shoes I'd be hopping mad.
So far so good, and I’m fortunate to be able to book rooms to stay away from crowds. But it hadn’t been the plan, for sure.
Mostly I am concerned for those who may be “knee-capped” as @IVF has encountered.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Future
So far so good, and I’m fortunate to be able to book rooms to stay away from crowds. But it hadn’t been the plan, for sure.
Mostly I am concerned for those who may be “knee-capped” as @IVF has encountered.
We’re feeling better today so the vaccines are doing what they’re supposed to do. We are healing well in our apartment. We’ve decided as soon as we test negative, to continue at a pace that we’re comfortable with. We’ll see how it goes !
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
Antiviral meds are reserved for those over 65 or with pre-existing severe vulnerabilities. You can try going to a local Centro de Salud, but unless you are in one of those categories, you won't be scripted the antivirals (risk vs benefit is the reason with age and/or pre-exiting condition being the metrics used for risk-benefit assessment).
 
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Mito

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2011, 2013, 2018) Roncesvalles-Astorga
CLeP (2013) Le Puy-?
GUD (2019) Dovre-Trondheim
I just tested positive for COVID and want to see if I can get an antiviral med. what’s the best way to see doc in Leon? Recommendations for hospitals with shorter ER wait times (I know private hospitals are sometimes preferable in Spain)? I have good travel insurance. Many thx for your help.
I tested positive 10 days ago and holed up in an apartment until I tested negative. Still very tired and not yet walking again I am 68 and vaxxed and was told by the Dr I saw that the anti-virals are reserved for people needing hospitalization. It’s very different here than in the states. Feel better!! And don’t push it. The other advice I was given is too much physical activity too soon can cause problems later on.
 

Mito

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF (2011, 2013, 2018) Roncesvalles-Astorga
CLeP (2013) Le Puy-?
GUD (2019) Dovre-Trondheim
Agreed on coughing all around, it’s respiratory season.
Some of the Albergues sound like a tree-planting camp I’d worked in ages ago. “Camp cough” seems to be going around. Kitchen hygiene in the albergues is nowhere near as good as I saw in the work camp, so not surprising.
I’ve a sniffle and a slight cough, nothing more, but have changed my reservations to hotel rooms instead of albergues, though I did have to take the hit on the fees due to the late cancellation.
I wouldn’t want to be next to some guy coughing, so I decided to not be that guy to others.
I had to make many late cancellations because of COVID and every single one of them refunded me anyway. What a sweet blessing!! As I had to pay for an apartment to recover in and that wasn’t cheap. So….let them know why you are cancelling after the grace period and they may do the same.
 

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