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Germany : isn't the health care brilliant? [smile]

(25 Posts)
SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 14:07:57

Took dd to the doctor this morning. Called at 8, made an appointment for 10 and had to wait 10 minutes, so seen at 10:10. Imagine that on NH? Asked for a referral to the speech therapist and got it straight away, came home, called the therapist nearest my home and got an appointment to start on Monday! Whole thing costs zilch.

If I ever do leave Berlin, I'm sure I will spend the rest of my life pining away for the German health care system.

Remember dd needed an OP at 4. Doctor sent me to a specialist, specialist set it up, all done in a lovely little villa in beautiful grounds (not some grotty busy inner-city hospital) a week after I'd first taken her to the GP. They were all fantastic and it cost -zilch. Imagine trying to do that on NH?

UglySister Thu 18-May-06 14:15:43

No, I can´t.. Amazing isn´t it, and yet where I live my GP always tells me how much the NHS is admired and won´t hear a bad word said about it!

interstella Thu 18-May-06 14:16:14

i am not sure of the point of this post!?

MrsBigD Thu 18-May-06 15:01:06

I think the point is interstella that SSSandy has probably experienced the NHS where waiting for a referral and then first appointment can take ages whereas in Germany you're generally referred and seen stante pede

geekgrrl Thu 18-May-06 15:09:48

but it's not free...(unless you're on benefits)
My dad pays nearly 1000 euro per month (yes - 1 grand) for compulsory state health cover in Germany.

tissy Thu 18-May-06 15:27:59

It's not free for my brother, who is a teacher in Berlin. He was recently in hospital for removal of some screws from his ankle, which in the UK would be done as a day case. Having been told that he would have to stay in overnight in case of complications, he was then kept in another night "in case of complications". When he tried to explain that he was fine and didn't need to be in hospital, he was told that if he signed himself out, the insurance company wouldn't cover the cost of the operation and he would be sent the bill .

This is fraud (unnecessary hospitalisation in order to claim more money from the insurance) and false imprisonment. My brother, as a consequence missed some vital Arsenal match, as the hospital tv didn't show any British football- and was seriously pissed off. The doctor then proceeded to tell him he needed to be off work SIX WEEKS to recover from this minor operation. Load of shysters!

expatinscotland Thu 18-May-06 15:33:12

It's not free here, either, we pay for it thru our tax/NI contributions.

MrsBigD Thu 18-May-06 15:35:49

geekgrrl of course it's not free free but here you pay NI there you pay health insurance However then you don't have to pay all those or as many extras as you do here in the uK

Tissy... just from one experience you can't call everybody a shyster. How would you have reacted if your brother had discharged himself feeling well and then had major complications? I say rather err on the safe side and that's what doctors in Germany generally do. IMHO health is a bit more important than an Arsenal match!!!

interstella Thu 18-May-06 15:35:58

Yes I realise that sssandy is talkingof one excellent example ,but we could do that for every healthcare system in the world,obvs im glad for her but still unsure of the point?I could give you lots of examples of care on the NHS which would never happen elsewhere,and i mean positive examples!!

tissy Thu 18-May-06 15:41:43

I wasn't really calling everyone a shyster MrsBigD,but this goes far beyond,erring on the safe side. As this is my field, I can confidently say that there are few (if any) "major complications" of this minor operation that could be detected during an extra 24 hours stay. It was a clear case of fraud!

Unfortunately, this is one of the problems you get with an Insurance based system, where the hospitals exist NOT to cure the patients but to make money for their shareholders. It happens in the private sector in the UK as well.

tissy Thu 18-May-06 15:47:33

and my brother would put Arsenal right at the top of his list of priorities!

geekgrrl Thu 18-May-06 15:52:11

I also find it very silly how everybody instantly goes to see a specialist - a spot of eczema? Go straight to the dermatologist. Chest infection? It'll have to be a lung specialist because, heaven forbid, a GP is obviously unqualified to deal with such uncommon, serious complaints. <blows raspberry>

And all the waiting rooms are so chic - someone has to pay for that surely?

Of course we pay for the NHS here, but in Germany they also pay taxes like we do here - and then the money for the chic waiting rooms and state-of-the-art equipment in every single surgery on top of those taxes.

MrsBigD Thu 18-May-06 16:05:27

geekgrrl but we pay taxes here in the UK

As for seeing the specialist ... well I'd 'kill' to see a ear nose throat doc over here in the UK. I have terrile ear ache with no ear infection in sight and all I get from GP is take painkillers and come back in 2 weeks... erhem... that's very comforting... not! And even if I finally get referred I'm sure to have a long wait on the NHS.

And what's wrong with nice waiting rooms? Much nicer to wait in a soothing ambience when already feeling cr*p as opposed in a dark and dreary place

tissy ... fair enough if you know the field. But health vs sports... in my book health wins

MrsBigD Thu 18-May-06 16:06:06

upps missed the bit where you said 'as we do here'... and what's wrong with using tax money for health care? Better than warheads anytime!

franke Thu 18-May-06 16:06:10

geekgirl, I'm with you on this one. It absolutely does not cost zilch. I can't even bear to tell you how much my monthly premiums are AND I have an excess on my policy. The German health system is a racket (sp?). If you aren't privately insured you have to wait weeks for an appointment like you do on the NHS and there are all sorts of extras which are now being excluded from Krankenkasse. If you are privately insured, you'll find that all of a sudden your doctor (or whatever specialist you've taken it upon yourself to go to) needs to do all sorts of tests/scans/consultations with colleagues to make sure there really is nothing wrong with you.

And now this my first on mumsnet


admylin Thu 18-May-06 16:07:56

That is why the german health insurance is also getting more expensive. In the long run we are going to have to pay for it.
At the moment the situation in thesuper expensive high tech hospitals is not going well either, the doctors work really long shifts and are badly paid hence the strikes all over the country. My dh works at the big charite hospital in Berlin so we know a lot of doctors and the majority of them are on 2 year contracts with no assurance of being able to stay after that. A heart surgeon lives in our building in 2 attic rooms, he works all hours and had to send his wife and kids back to their hometown because he only has a 1 year contract so he didn't want to take his kids in and out of schools ..imagine a heart surgeon , what a life and thanks for all the hard work!
I know an italian heart surgeon with massive villa, time for luxury holidays and money to pay for expensive education of his dd. No wonder the german docs are fed up with their situation.

MrsBigD Thu 18-May-06 16:09:30

hadn't realised it had gotten that bad been away 12+ years

SSSandy Thu 18-May-06 16:25:42

Better add our health insurance is completely paid for so we really do end up paying nothing at all except for the 10Euro a quarter fee and medicine for adults.

Where I used to live before coming here, you'd go to the doctor first thing in the morning and wait forever to be seen to, if you needed further treatment or to see a specialist you went on a waiting list and everything had to be paid by the patient. In comparison to that, Germany really is a breeze. Considering how often dd gets sick, I would hate to have been living in that place with her for the past 5 years.

UglySister Thu 18-May-06 18:28:45

I´ve survived private health insurance in 3 different countries, yes it is expensive but I wouldn´t have it any other way. I´ve always got what I pay for and would never visit an NHS doctor given the choice. Sorry, healthworkers, I don´t blame you, just think the system is not manageable anymore...

Californifrau Thu 18-May-06 18:53:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SSSandy Wed 24-May-06 09:58:13

Still find the health care here the best I've come across. For a change, I'm noticing all the things I do like here. It might well be because I am seriously considering forcing the family to move elsewhere ....

My experience of the train and bus services has been very good. Facilities for kids, like playgrounds, are very good too. I've only ever lived in big cities here, so I can't judge the countryside, but there is a huge amount of free or cheap activities for children on offer too. The playgrounds are great.

Interstella, you were asking what the point of my posting was and to be honest I don't know.
I think I'm weighing these good points up against the things I find more difficult to adjust to.

foundintranslation Wed 24-May-06 10:12:35

My view of German healthcare is mixed. I do pay a large premium (so no, it's not free) but on the whole I feel it's worth it. The care during my rather difficult pg and birth was FAB - loads of scans, early diagnosis of cervical changes, a great medical team at v protracted birth which ended up with ventouse. The paediatric care for ds was very good too. And dh and ds are insured free on my insurance (dh wouldn't be if he worked).
What I do take issue with, however, is the obsession with specialists (am in agreement with geekgrrl there) - several times I've been to my GP with something, she'd said 'well I'm pretty sure it's xxx but go to the specialist just in case', so off I trot to the specialist, wasting my and their time (and insurance money) - as specialist then invariably said 'it's xxx'. I do also find it a bit 'over-medicalised' at times (part of it is about making money, I suppose) - the number of times I had an amnio (which I didn't want and didn't have) pushed at me during the first half of my pg (and I am in no 'risk' groups) was almost disturbing, and a few times I've been to the orthopaedist about slight pain, just to check things are OK, and have been prescribed unnecessary treatments I didn't want - I felt this was because patients tend to expect it. Some years ago I was hospitalised eith acuter gastroenteritis and on a drip because I wasn't even keeping water down. I was fine the next day, but they were refusing to release me until I'd had a coloscopy . In the end I discharged myself and had to sign a scary waiver form.

figroll Wed 24-May-06 16:21:53

Germany is phenomenally expensive in terms of health care - my sister has to pay the equivalent of hundreds of pounds for her family to be able to use the health care system. She also went through a phase of having no healthcare at all and was terrified of her kids having an accident, because they would not have been able to go to hospital. Her husband was sooooo worried during this time they nearly came back to the UK.

She keeps telling me how I should appreciate what I have got and not grumble about it, because she has a totally different opinion after being in Deutschland for 4 years now. She lives in a village and has found life a bit odd really - she went to pick her dd up from school (she was only 6) and got a phone call from the teacher yhat evening telling her that she was not to go near the school when the children were coming out!!????

SSSandy Wed 24-May-06 18:21:39

"she went to pick her dd up from school (she was only 6) and got a phone call from the teacher yhat evening telling her that she was not to go near the school when the children were coming out!!???? "

What reason did they give? Is it something to do with not driving near the school because of accidents? Surely your sis has the right to pick up her child where she wants? If they're concerned about paedophiles kidnapping children, well they can do that at the end of the street as easily as outside the school gates.

figroll Thu 25-May-06 08:59:33

No she walked - my sister doesn't drive and she enjoyed walking down to fetch her from the school because it gave her an excuse to get out. She wanted to take her to the Spielplatz nearby. So after that, her dd had to walk up home and then they went back down to go to play! Ridiculous situation. I don't think paedophilia has entered their minds, actually - I think it is all to do with encouraging children to be independent.

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