In my view

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Becoming ill when abroad is something you never want to happen but unfortunately for me that is exactly what did happen.

After only a few days in Tunisia I came down with an ear infection and having only packed a few painkillers it meant a trip to the local pharmacy.

Not expecting much, I told the pharmacist about my earache and despite her only speaking broken English and me being half deaf, I was stunned, and a little relieved, to come away with, not only pain killers, but also a box of antibiotic ear drops. A process that took in total two minutes from start to finish. Amazing.

Sadly the drops were not enough and when my face started to swell and I could no longer put my teeth together I set out on another visit to the pharmacy to pick up more painkillers.

Once again I explained my problem and left clutching pain killers and a box of antibiotic tablets. Astounding.

Having returned to the UK and with symptoms lingering I had to return to the process of ‘phoning for an appointment. Waiting for that appointment, although I was lucky to get the nurse on the same day, and then heading off to the pharmacy. A process which took much longer than the two minutes it did only a few weeks before yet with the same results - a dose of antibiotics. How can two countries have such different procedures for the same medication?