American couple who used healthcare system in Spain shocked by cheap $43 bill

  • last month
An American couple who had to go to the doctor while on holiday in Spain were shocked when they came out with a $43 bill.

Todd and Melanie Maddex, 40 and 45, were holidaying in Valencia when Melanie fell ill.

After a week feeling under the weather with flu-like symptoms, Melanie decided to call a doctor.

Within two hours, Melanie had an appointment and picked up medication from the local pharmacy for the total sum of £34 ($43).

Todd, who runs a tech company in Tampa, Florida, USA, said: "We were shocked and that's why I made the video.

"To call the doctor and get a prescription that cheaply is incredible.

"In the US, if you go to urgent care or the doctor's office you usually pay $400 or $500."

The couple are on a three-month holiday in Spain to get a feel for the country and see if they'd like to move there permanently.

After spending two months in Barcelona, the couple travelled to Valencia where Melanie fell ill.

At first, the couple decided to wait until Melanie's symptoms went away but as she didn't get better they decided to see a doctor.

Melanie, a director of operations, said: "I had cold or flu-type symptoms but they didn't go away for more than a week.

"They were debilitating so I knew it wasn't a cold or the flu."

The couple were able to book a telephone appointment and Melanie was able to speak to a doctor just 20 minutes later.

Melanie was told she had a sinus infection and was shocked to find out she could pick up antibiotics right away.

Todd said: "It was twenty minutes after we decided that Melanie should go and see a doctor. With Melanie being sick, it was so convenient to not get up."

The doctor's appointment came to £24 ($31) and the medication cost was only £9 ($11.95), which Todd was able to pick up at a pharmacy close by.

The couple are not Spanish citizens and did not have insurance, which means they paid a higher price.

Even so, the price they paid was far cheaper than what they would have paid back in the United States.

Tom said: "We pay $1,000 for insurance for both of us and we're healthy adults. That's for what we think is good insurance.

"We expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a doctor's visit with our insurance."

Following their experience, both Todd and Melanie felt huge disappointment with the level of care that is provided in their home country compared to Spain.

Both have had family members leave conditions untreated due to the high cost of medical care.

Todd's mother is in need of back surgery but can't afford it and both Melanie's brother and father have had to have teeth pulled to avoid huge costs.

Melanie said: "My dad and my brother had teeth problems, they had to have their teeth pulled because it would be too expensive to fix it.

"So many people are forced to choose, do I eat this week or do I get this procedure."