Medical services in Germany

35 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

I have been staying in Wiesbaden for around 18 months but only recently I got the chance to avail German medical services. I would unfortunately say that I'm a bit disappointed with what I experienced by this time. I would just point out my finding rather than going in exact details.

 

- Unable to get satisfactory answers to my queries regarding the problem.

- I was recommended, even though later seemed unnecessary, to things that were not covered under medical insurance.

- Was never asked to undergo any sort of test to diagnose the problem. Seems they can read everything on patient's face.

- No recommendation to specialist even if it was the problem for which I underwent special checkups & treatment in my country.

 

Feel free to add more to the list.

 

Through this forum I would like to know if this is the way doctors works in Germany or only when it comes to expats?

 

Cheers

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I've not had massive contact and only for minor stuff but my experience has been good. I love that I can literally just walk down the road, book an appointment with the specialist I need and get seen fast in top quality facilities and get fast results. For a recent eye infection, I just mailed a doctor round the corner, and dropped by when it suited. I particularly value that there's a heck of a lot of routine cancer screening (also more frequent than a lot of us may be used to).

 

It was the same when my German ex used it. The only thing I saw that I considered not of the standard one might expect was hospital after-care. Sure the med care was superb but the amenities / food / support etc were fairly basic, probably much like they were in 1960!

 

The flexibility could work for you though. Just see a second doctor if you were not happy with the first (I recall my ex had to do that for the process that ended in hospital).

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I saw your name and read "Anal Scorpion" and thought, well, ouch.

 

 

- Unable to get satisfactory answers to my queries regarding the problem.

- I was recommended, even though later seemed unnecessary, to things that were not covered under medical insurance.

- Was never asked to undergo any sort of test to diagnose the problem. Seems they can read everything on patient's face.

- No recommendation to specialist even if it was the problem for which I underwent special checkups & treatment in my country.

 

Feel free to add more to the list.

 

Through this forum I would like to know if this is the way doctors works in Germany or only when it comes to expats?

Your issues are, in my experience, typical of the kind of person who is incapable of opening their mouth to ask a question or voice an opinion. You are the kind of person who thinks that a doctor's word is law and then when things don't go the way you hoped you have a little bitch about it on an internet forum. What you fail to understand is that they are simply people doing a job.

 

If you are not happy with the service that is being provided to you then you have to open your gob and say something about it. You claim that you were "Unable to get satisfactory answers to my queries regarding the problem". To that I say bullshit! If you have a problem and your doctor is not explaining things to your satisfaction then you bloody well ask again. It's not rocket surgery.

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I broke my foot earlier this year and received great care from a specialist, who spoke both English and German (though that's not the reason I went there- he was just down the road and I was referred to him after a call to the general practitioner). Surgery was recommended, even though it normally wouldn't have been in the States. I do know a great bone/joint specialist in the States, so I got a second opinion from him via phone/email. He told me to have the surgery, because even while it's not the common recommendation there, it would help prevent my foot from developing further problems and would ensure that the bone healed correctly. The surgery was done very well, and I was put completely under for it, at MY request (the regular option being awake but numb from the waist down). The after-surgery services were, as swimmer mentioned, fairly basic- three patients to a room, sharing a television and a bathroom, and the food was essentially normal hospital food. The doctors were very knowledgeable and helpful and also spoke both languages well. I did continue to see the specialist as follow-up after the surgery and until the bone was healed.

 

Overall the care was superb and much more thorough than what I would have received in the States. Explanations were given for anything I was confused about. Most things were covered by my au pair insurance, which is VERY picky as far as coverage goes!

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I've had pretty good experiences to be honest, can't really complain at all. I've seen BIG differences between different hospitals in terms of facilities, food, care etc. and after a couple of operations started requesting which hospital I would go to, which was also never a problem.

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Since being over here I have visited my Hausärztin quite often and she has made sure that I was aware that seeing particular specialists would benefit my health overall. There is nothing seriously wrong with me, just things that the doctors didn't deal with in the UK and where here in Germany certain health checks are taken for granted. The system here is far superior and very caring to what I have been used to. On the odd occasion where I haven't understood fully certain medical terms, our GP and specialists have explained them in English!

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"Unable to get satisfactory answers to my queries regarding the problem". To that I say bullshit! If you have a problem and your doctor is not explaining things to your satisfaction then you bloody well ask again.

It happens more often than you think, KD. It happened to me, too, and I'm hardly someone incapable of asking questions or voicing an opinion. When I asked - repeatedly - about the surgery I'd just undergone and about post-op care, you know what was the (only) answer I eventually got? "You don't need to know what we're doing. As long as we know what we're doing, that's all that matters."

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Hi all,

 

I have been staying in Wiesbaden for around 18 months but only recently I got the chance to avail German medical services.

 

Did you get stung for a massive backpayment? E.g. 18 months worth?

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Read it again. :rolleyes: OP didn't say that he just got health insurance, he said that he needed to use Germany's medical services for the first time. Big difference.

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We had great experiences with the medical care we received in Germany (on the public insurance.) My husband had a nasal surgery while we were there, and I had a baby, and then we used a pediatrician, besides the usual acute-illness care.

 

The biggest difference I noticed between German and American care is the decor of the offices, to be honest. Also, as punchbear said, the pre-natal care was much better and more thorough than I would have gotten in the States. Plus, of course you can get much more personal service from a pharmacist in Germany than here.

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I can only add to the voices that are saying that the health care is really good here in general. My husband has needed orthopedic surgery here as well as ongoing treatment for a bad hip and back. What he has gotten here has been superior to the care that he got either in Canada or in the UK (not that either of those were really bad either, it's just that little bit better here). 

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My take on the medical services here is that it is a great bargain, I mean really great for what we have to pay for it.

 

Have had a child here, by C-section, and have had 4 other operations besides that one. Cysts, Varicose veins stripped, and scar tissue removed. Yeah, it can be kind of weird to stay in a room with 3, 4- or even 7 other women, but so what? If it saves me money, I really don't care. Do I really need breakfast in bed, or can I just stroll down to the breakfast room and take what I want. I vote for the stroll if possible.

 

Here is my example of why I think the med. care is wonderful here and you can make up your mind.

 

10 years ago, in Nov., I started getting really odd numbness in my legs and feet in various spots. I thought I had a pinched nerve, so went off to the Orthopedic Dr. He pretty quickly said nothing was wrong with my back or nerves and sent me off to a Neurologist. One eye-nerve test later, the decision was made that it might be MS, so off I went to get an MRI. All of these appointments took very little time to get, and I think I had them all done with-in a couple of weeks.

 

MRI gets done, and they say yes, we think it is MS too, but now you need to go to the hospital for a spinal tap, and a few more tests. Hospital stay was 1st of Feb. and after all the tests, the diagnosis was confirmed. My costs for all of this, 20 € for the 2 quarterly payments, my regular insur. payment and 15 € a day for the 5 day hospital stay. So, the whole diagnose thing took less than 4 months.

 

I was put on meds that if I had to pay for them here would cost per month, about 1100 €, and in the states they would cost about $1500. My cost is 10 € per month.

 

Every 2 years, I get a new MRI, and a quick check-up. A couple of times I have had to get massive cortisone treatments and earlier this spring, I was almost blind in one eye from the MS. But quickly that morning, got an eye exam from an excellent Dr. who saw that it was the MS and not something else. Went straight to my Neuro and got my first dose of cortisone that day. Now, how long do you thing this kind of thing would take in the US?

 

I have friends in the states who tell me what kind of hoops they have to jump through just to get an appt. let alone a diagnosis and the amount of money they have to pay for meds.

 

Would I switch to the American system? No way. I do hope Obama works things out with this though

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Another happy customer here - I've been through a few medical systems in my time and, for me, Germany is right up there with my French and Swedish experience and they are the two that pretty much normally take 1st and 2nd place in the world's league table.

 

If you're not happy with the doctor that you saw or the diagnosis that you got then find yourself another doctor to see. Go well prepared with questions and get an explanation that you are comfortable with.

 

Good luck.

 

D

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I left my home country 20 years ago so I don't have much comparison, but I, too, have been very pleased with the German health care system, especially in the past couple of years. I had major surgery in January of 2009 with a 9-day hospital stay and was hospitalized again for three days at the end of August 2010 because of a flare-up of a chronic condition. Before and during both those episodes they did every imaginable consultation and examination and whatever needed to be done was done and I never had to wait long to get in to see a specialist. Health insurance paid for all of it plus the various medications I'm on now without a peep.

 

I agree that the hospitals can be very 70's, not much regard for privacy and personal dignity, iffy hygiene, awful food etc, but hey, you don't have to stay forever.

 

Yes, sometimes the docs don't tell you things unless you ask, and sometimes not even then, which means you have to inform yourself beforehand and make it clear to them that you know what you're talking about. Doesn't always work, some docs appreciate it, others still think they're demi-gods, but there's no way I'm going to let anyone near me without first knowing all the avenues of treatment and options available.

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MRI gets done, and they say yes, we think it is MS too, but now you need to go to the hospital for a spinal tap, and a few more tests. Hospital stay was 1st of Feb. and after all the tests, the diagnosis was confirmed. My costs for all of this, 20 € for the 2 quarterly payments, my regular insur. payment and 15 € a day for the 5 day hospital stay. So, the whole diagnose thing took less than 4 months.

 

Same here, except the whole thing took just 4 days. Decided to go to a doctor at like 10am and by the end of the day I had seen a GP, ophtalmologist, diplopia specialist, neurologist and been in an MRI machine. Oh, and I got to wear a laser helmet (at which point it dawned on me that I probably wouldn't be going home with a bottle of eye drops). But yeah, the food was nothing special. :)

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I pay through the nose for my health insurance. It irks me that when I go to my gyno for my annual check up that I have to pay €30 for an ultrasound that diagnoses lots of problems that may exist - cancer, fibroids etc.

 

On the other hand, I am glad I do not have to go to hospital in Ireland.

 

One example: A friend's daughter (23) was taken to hospital by ambulance with a suspected lung embolism. She spent Friday to Tuesday on a stretcher in A&E. At least there was another woman in the same situation for company. My husband has had an embolism and I know that he had 100% bed rest .. no unhooking of drips and having bed neighbour stand guard outside the door to go to the loo.

 

You read other horror stories ...Big news in GB on the news today.

 

I concur with pretty well everything that was said above. If there is a problem here, you are seen to pretty well immediately. If not, you change doctors.

 

Edit:

Except for post #5. Maybe you are trying to be funny, but it is not.

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there's no way I'm going to let anyone near me without first knowing all the avenues of treatment and options available.

That's not an option in an emergency, I'm afraid.

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