I got a chuckle* from this on page 376 in Coming Into the Country. The speaker is a woman named Elva. Elva has a master’s degree in education and for many years ran the school-districts health program in Anchorage. This experience leaves her the most qualified medical provider in the town of Eagle.
People come in off the river with blood infections, red streaks up their arm. They get cystitis from not enough water. They come down from Dawson with v.d. We don’t have laboratory tests. We treat on symptoms. An outboard motor chewed on a guy’s legs awhile. We sewed him up. I tell everyone, ‘I don’t mind helping you out. Just don’t use me.’ We don’t want to be awakened for nothing, for someone who is merely drunk. For gunshot wounds and stabbings I of course get up. Oh, we have enough of that sort of thing. Yeah. You betcha. We’re getting ready to have dinner with company and they come in and bleed all over the sink. Who needs TV in Eagle? We’ve got action enough in the streets.
I’m guessing health care costs in Eagle were (are?) on the low end.
*I wonder if I’ve ever used that word before.….