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Saturday, 19 June 2010

Medical Advice For Travellers and Surfers

  Seeing as I came off my motorbike the other day,  I thought I'd write some info on medical advice and certain products you might need if you too come off your bike!  I would highly advise buying a few of the following products when you get here to clean up any cuts you get from either hitting the road or the reef
(highly likely!)

 Rivanol - to clean cuts
Tieh Ta Yao Gin (red and white packet) -
Stings like hell but everyone swears
 by it for reef cuts - it has an iodine base
 and works very well.

  I'd recommend buying them from a pharmacy here because they are everywhere and are dirt cheap (Kimia Farma is one chain that is open 24 hours)

   Betadine is apparently a less effective alternative to the Chinese medicine listed above.

   These kinds of products are particularly important as a little graze can turn into a festering, infected mess if you don't clean it regularly in this heat - the bacteria loves the Bali weather! Mine got infected from driving round on my bike a few days later - all the fumes from other cars just got straight into the wound and next thing I know my foot ballooned!

  If you need to see a doctor, there are plenty of options;  if it's nothing serious, I would recommend going to a local medical centre called 'Puskesmas' - below is a Google Maps search result for all the 'Puskesmas' centres listed in Bali.  There are a couple in the Kuta area and I believe they are open 8am -8pm (or something similar).

Map of Puskesmas in Kuta / South Bali area.

However, a friend of mine went to one not long back and, although he only paid the equivalent of a couple of US Dollars, they gave him antibiotics which were not strong enough and his eye infection got quite a lot worse.  For this reason, if you have something serious, it is better to go to a private clinic.  That is where the fun starts.

Here are my wounds from coming off the bike
 (I got off with a few minor cuts & bruises 
but it could have been a lot worse!!)
  Private Clinics are normally open 24 hours and you can find lots of them in Kuta.  However, their prices are quite expensive by anyone's standards - I believe the one time I looked they were around $50 US just for a medical consultation.  You could try shopping around but I doubt that anyone in a bad way health-wise would be willing to do so.  Also, doctors here, just like people selling clothes on the street, will try to cut you a deal and 'offer' you a price.  From there, you will just have to see how it goes & I'm afraid I can't offer you any more suggestions!

I've also read that there is a rabies 'epidemic' in Bali - - but this is apparently confined to Tabanan and other places near there where most tourists aren't likely to visit - I haven't had the rabies vaccine and haven't had a problem. The thing is, here, you rarely walk anywhere as pavements hardly exist, motorbikes are so cheap to run and walking is generally dangerous as you are forced to walk down the crazy roads. It's only when I've been on foot at night have dogs ever bothered me here - I don't personally think it's worth paying so much for a rabies shot but that's my own, humble opinion.

  Here's some useful info below on dealing with any rabies cases;

"What to do if bitten by a dog in Bali during this current epidemic?

1. Flush the wound immediately with running water and detergent for at least 10 minutes, then apply iodine or alcohol.

2. Call the rabies team at Sanglah hospital (+62) 081-23958111 or go directly to the hospital. You may require urgent vaccination and immunoglobin depending on the category of the bite/severity of the wound.
3. Call the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) hotline (+62) 081-1389004 who will pick up the dog for observation."


  1. Just saw this interesting article -

    It seems pretty good to me!


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