TikToker Food Poisoning Morocco
Source: TikTok | @christian.grossi

Guy Gets Food Poisoning Abroad and His Hospital Bill Sparked a Viral TikTok Debate

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

May 31 2022, Published 8:39 a.m. ET

US healthcare costs are the highest in the world, a statistic made even more troubling when tons of reports indicate that the quality of care in America has been steadily declining over the years. Meaning that citizens are actually paying more money for inferior/difficult to attain services.

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There are horror stories of folks who have fallen ill or been injured in the United States who have begged friends/family members/bystanders not to call an ambulance as they can't afford it. The average cost of an Emergency Room visit in America ranges anywhere from $1,200 to $1,300.

While hospitals cannot turn away individuals who have unpaid medical bills and must attend to patients regardless of economic status, CNBC reports that almost 1 in 4 citizens decline medical coverage because they don't want to deal with the economic fallout following a hospital/doctor's visit.

So this TikToker's surprise at how much his hospital visit in Morocco cost doesn't come as a shock, considering what premiums cost in the US.

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Source: TikTok | @christian.grossi

Christian starts his video by stating: "I spent 24 hours in a Moroccan Hospital," following a "food poisoning experience" he had while abroad in the North African country.

"I started to feel really dizzy so I headed to the store right outside my Airbnb and when I walked outside I felt super ill and ended up passing out and collapsing on the sidewalk."

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He continues, "I then woke up to four Moroccan men pouring water on my head only speaking Arabic except for one word: hospital."

He said that he allowed the men to take him to the hospital after realizing he was in bad shape and was "instantly admitted to the ER."

food poisoning morocco
Source: TikTok | @christian.grossi
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He was set up with "two separate IVS" with anti-biotics and anti-nausea medication. He passed out in the hospital again and woke up the following morning with the nurse telling him that he's got medicine in his system but if he feels OK enough to go home, he could.

Christian said that he felt good enough to head back to his Airbnb but was worried about receiving a hospital bill because he didn't have health insurance. After being put in a wheelchair and taken out of the hospital to where he was handed a bill, Christian said that "a night in the ER and 4 separate medications cost" him only $31 US and the hospital only accepted cash.

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tiktoker food poisoning morocco
Source: TikTok | @christian.grossi

So if you're planning on traveling to Morocco and trying out local fare, then make sure you've got enough dirham on you. TMB.ie has some tips on how to avoid getting food poisoning while traveling abroad. Drinking and brushing/rinsing your teeth only with bottled water, avoiding ice in beverages, not eating food unless it's been cooked (so this eliminates raw fruits and veggies), staying away from dairy, and only eating at busy locations that locals frequent are all ways to help to minimize your risk.

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tiktoker food poisoning
Source: TikTok | @christian.grossi

Men's Health reports that depending on which country you're visiting and where you're eating, you have a 30-70% chance of getting food poisoning. This isn't necessarily because we ingest "dirty" or "tainted" food while abroad (but that sure doesn't help) but because our bodies aren't used to the bacteria in foods from different regions.

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tiktoker food poisoning morocco
Source: TikTok | @christian.grossi

Director of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine Travel Medicine Program, Dr. Daniel Caplivski states: "While foodborne illnesses can be picked up anywhere, it is more common to get sick from them when you are in another country, Dr. Caplivski notes. That’s because you might be exposed to foreign bacteria and illnesses that your body doesn’t know how to handle, he says. Drinking water is a prime example. 'When you're in a developing country, the tap water is going to have bacteria or parasites that we are not accustomed to and that we don't have immunity to,' he says.

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tiktoker food poisoning morocco
Source: TikTok | @christian.grossi

Responders to Christian's TikTok story were shocked at how affordable his hospital stay was there along with the apparent quality of treatment:

"Proof that in America, healthcare isn’t about helping people or saving lives. It’s all about money"

"Bro waiting in the lobby of a US hospital would cost you 20k"

"that would have been $31,000 if you were in NYC"

"A band-aid literally costs more than $31 at a US hospital," another pointed out.

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