Friday, 22 October 2010

Last Nights Potato Soup Dinner & Germany´s Healthcare System

This is such an easy soup to prepare, it makes me question why would someone pick up a can variety to feed their family.  It is common thing to do here and I see them every time I go grocery shopping.  Like everything else, shortcut comes with consequences ...

Off to another topic, I have been reading a lot about Germany´s Universal Healthcare Coverage lately and I have been pretty impressed!  You might say, why now only you know?  But yeah, I am slow like that but wait, I have a good reason.  I was unhappy with it and it is only recently that I am beginning to see the beauty of it. 

You see, I had problems with constant coughing when I first arrive here around winter period. I visited the family doctor a few times but was utterly dissapointed that each time, she (GP) prescribed me nothing but a bottle of cough syrup of which I had to later pick up from the Apotheke (drugstore).  Since I was single then, I was still on my international insurance coverage where I had to pay upfront first before making a claim later with my international insurance coverage.  Now, seeing a doctor is not cheap in Germany.  In any given case, it can cost up to 30 Euros each visit and you just get upset that all she could do is prescribe you some cough syrup.  I was coughing sooo badly that at one point, I could taste blood within. So yeah, 3 visits just like (and now thinking back why I even bother!)  until the 4th visit of which by then it got so bad I could hardly talk.  She put me on some inhaling machine to detect my lung activities and it was only then that she found abnormality and issued me some report escalating  me to a Lung Specialist in the hospital.  I called the Specialist up but I had to wait for at least 2 months to see him (he is a very, very popular Specalist).  And I thought to myself, what have I got myself into.  This would not have happend in where I came from!

Now, given such experience, wouldn´t you  question their professionalism and expertise? 

I found another Specialist soon after, a young lady whom specialises in Innerin Medizine or Internal Organ Specialist and she put me on a machine straight away.  She held on to my hand while asking me what my problem was, took time to understand my family medical history etc and at that moment, I swear I was so emotional I wanted to break down and cry but held on.  I was put on the inhaling machine to do a second round test before she came into the testing room to proclaim that she already found what my problem was.  In less than 20 minutes, she did it. It was confirmed that I had contracted Asthma and upon hearing it, tears started forming in my eyes.  Damn the first GP.  How could she be so reckless!  It was that moment that I realise my life will never be the same until I heal back 100%, but more importantly is, I question the professionalism of the first GP whom handled me.  Germany´s Universal Healthcare System, known the world over for being one of the best and then ...

Having said that, the Specialist changed my perception too.  I could not have been more bless to have found someone whom was able to diagnos my problem within 20 minutes and prescribed me the neccessary!

Recently, I´ve been experiencing backaches, finger numbness during sleeping (sounds scary, I know!), hormone issues and the return of my Asthma (surprise, surprise and always when it turns cold I wonder why) ...

I am now married of course, with my healthcare coverage attached to my husband.  He pays a lot towards this Healthcare System, somewhere around 14% but the beauty of it is, I get to enjoy it too along with children in the event we have one in the future.  Now, when I was first told the percentage from his pay, I was shocked beyond belief.  But now that I am experiencing need myself, I surely am glad that whoever that came up with such a wonderful Universal Healthcare System and managed it so well (almost, except that the system is weight down by too high running cost and am facing some issues now) must be applauded for the effort. 

Take for example, I don´t have to worry if I get pregnant, have complication, have cancer, have HIV, have an accident and lost my limbs, get a stroke, get old and not mobile or Hub losses his job and cannot afford to pay for his (which in turn affect mine too) monthly insurance. It is all taken care off till death!  I can go do my eye test when the need arise, go for my regular dentist check up and fix whatever that is needed (except for dentures which one has to pay for), go threat my flat feet condition at the Orthopedics (which I suspect is the cause for my backache) and if its not, perhaps some massage therapy might help (and its included too), and threat my asthma (of which I am trying to get them to sent me to rehabilitation centre for long stay but yeah, she has to decide).  All this with a vast network of expertise that I can choose from until I find the right one and not pay a single cent extra (well, except for 10 Euro every 3 months to appointed GP whom will issue me Überweisungschein for escalation with no questions asked).

There are some things I do not agree on in Germany, but when it comes to Healthcare coverage, I have to give it to them.  I cannot help feeling secure in this new home of mine.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Really interesting information on the German healthcare system. Where are you based in Germany?



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