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Old 18.08.2015, 10:37
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Spital Triemli

Whilst on holiday I let some friends from Germany make use of our place whilst I wasn't there. During their stay they went to Werdinsel during the warm weather where one guy had an accident. When jumping into the river he suffered a deep gash on his ankle.

He received a bandage from the bademeister and got told to go to hospital. They took the bus directly to Triemli, where upon arrival they were told they'd only get attention if they could produce some health insurance documents.

Now as they'd travelled directly from the river to hospital they didn't have anything with them. The guy offered to call up his health insurance company to get his details, but the jobsworth there was having none of it. They asked if they could send a bill at a later date. Also refused. Finally they asked if they could begin treatment whilst another member of the party returned home to retrieve his insurance card. This was also rejected. The only way the hospital said they'd treat him is if he would hand over a bank or credit card.

Now I could perhaps understand this reaction if the guy was checking in for cancer treatment, but it was a deep gash that required urgent attention (I've attached a photo, it's not for the squeamish). All that was required was some patching up and for him to be sent on his way. It’s unfathomable to me that a hospital would send someone away in such a state.

As they only had cash on them they had to leave, return home, collect the insurance card and go back out to Spital Limmatal. This hospital, to their credit, saw the injury and took him straight to the front of the queue in A&E, where he received excellent care.

How can it be that a hospital could be so impassive? We’re not in the States after all, and it should have been clear to anyone but an utter moron he wasn’t a health tourist. The only excuse I could think of is that the hospital saw the bandage from the Bademeister and thought he’d already received enough attention, though this seems unlikely. Anyone else had or heard of similar experiences?
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Old 18.08.2015, 11:36
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Re: Spital Triemli

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Now as they'd travelled directly from the river to hospital they didn't have anything with them. The guy offered to call up his health insurance company to get his details, but the jobsworth there was having none of it. They asked if they could send a bill at a later date. Also refused. Finally they asked if they could begin treatment whilst another member of the party returned home to retrieve his insurance card. This was also rejected. The only way the hospital said they'd treat him is if he would hand over a bank or credit card.
What? You'd treat even a dog (for free) in these circumstances....and they can't say they don't have resources. Awful people.
Hope your friend is OK.
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Old 18.08.2015, 11:48
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Re: Spital Triemli

AFAIK emergency treatment is provided unconditionally, which obviously applies to such a wound. That would mean somebody made a mistake. However, I find it difficult to imagine how one could misinterpret that wound.

If you have a name you should complain.
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Old 18.08.2015, 11:49
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Re: Spital Triemli

Disgusting treatment. I wonder whether it is official policy and whether there is a situation where this requirement is waived i.e. a 'more' serious or life-threatening injury?

If it's not official policy then I'd put in a complaint.
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Old 18.08.2015, 12:04
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Re: Spital Triemli

I think you're right and I should complain officially. I thought I may have missed something that could have explained them turning him away, but the more I go over it more shocking I find it. I would hate to think of someone else going through that.

The worst thing is, that sort of wound would have costs peanuts to clean and bandage up, even in Switzerland. I have to check again with him, but I can't imagine any doctor would have turned them away.
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Old 18.08.2015, 17:08
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Re: Spital Triemli

Some mod please remove the photo or make it optional and no it was not life threatening.

Just hand over your bank details and you are done. I am sure the hospital had many people in holiday that got their service and left without paying.
So they were right to refuse help.

Strange I never leave without my wallet not even when I go to the river/lake how did he take the buss? without a ticket also?
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Old 18.08.2015, 17:21
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Re: Spital Triemli

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Some mod please remove the photo or make it optional and no it was not life threatening.

Just hand over your bank details and you are done. I am sure the hospital had many people in holiday that got their service and left without paying.
So they were right to refuse help.

Strange I never leave without my wallet not even when I go to the river/lake how did he take the buss? without a ticket also?
I often go out without my wallet or ID - when I go for a run, for example.

But yes, it's not exactly a life threatening injury in this case.
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Old 18.08.2015, 17:24
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Re: Spital Triemli

The picture is fine.


I would agree if it was like an open flesh wound down to the bone or something, but this? Hardly worth complaining about and definitely not a wound needing medical attention.


Jeez.


How do you like your admissions job at the hospital, BTW?

Last edited by VFR on top; 18.08.2015 at 17:42. Reason: dialed up the sarcasm.
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Old 18.08.2015, 17:29
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Re: Spital Triemli

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Strange I never leave without my wallet not even when I go to the river/lake how did he take the buss? without a ticket also?
They skipped the fare because they were some money grabbing gippos straight of the boat from Eritrea, did you not get that from the opening post?

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No it was not life threatening.
Losing a testicle is also non life threatening.

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I am sure the hospital had many people in holiday that got their service and left without paying.
So they were right to refuse help.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 18.08.2015, 17:44
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Re: Spital Triemli

I have to say, I'm a bit surprised. We've had friends visiting from Norway who had to go to Kinderspital with their baby, they didn't have to pay on the spot and the bill was sent directly to their home address in Norway.

Possibly different hospitals have different billing routines for foreigners? As someone pointed out, maybe this hospital has had earlier problems with non-residents who didn't pay their bills? Still, strange.
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Old 18.08.2015, 17:46
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Re: Spital Triemli

Sounds quite normal. . A friend was in the advanced stages of malaria and puking all over the floor of the hospital reception.. he presented his BUPA international card.. no piss off you are a swiss resident so we only take swiss insurance.. he had to go to a broker sign the contract then go back to the hospital.
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Old 18.08.2015, 18:14
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Re: Spital Triemli

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As they only had cash on them they had to leave, return home, collect the insurance card and go back out to Spital Limmatal.
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Strange I never leave without my wallet not even when I go to the river/lake how did he take the buss? without a ticket also?
I guess you missed this bit then?

Whilst I agree that it's not a life threatening injury I think it was disgraceful to treat them like that. Phoning up and getting the insurance details should have been sufficient for them to treat him. It's not even as though the treatment would have been expensive but it would have made his journey home much more comfortable.
Disgusting behaviour in my opinion.
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Old 18.08.2015, 18:27
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Re: Spital Triemli

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I am sure the hospital had many people in holiday that got their service and left without paying.
So they were right to refuse help.
You can't be sure sure of anything, actually, as you have 0 info on this subject.
You just assume some things. And even so, that wouldn't have given them the right to treat any other foreign patient like some piece of dust.
And you're wrong: they're obliged to help every patient in emergency situations.
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Old 18.08.2015, 19:05
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Re: Spital Triemli

A relative needed emergency treatment while visiting here; we had to pay a deposit so that he could be treated. I had understood that this is the norm for visitors - or at least non-EU visitors.

Because it really was an emergency, however, once it was clear that Swiss residents would stand as guarantors the hospital started treatment while we sorted out finances with the admin staff.
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Old 18.08.2015, 21:18
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Re: Spital Triemli

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Sounds quite normal. . A friend was in the advanced stages of malaria and puking all over the floor of the hospital reception.. he presented his BUPA international card.. no piss off you are a swiss resident so we only take swiss insurance.. he had to go to a broker sign the contract then go back to the hospital.
We live in Switzerland, we have BUPA International (we have a dispensation because of Trollefar's employer, don't ask me why, I'd rather have a Swiss insurance), and yet we've never had problems and apart from the few times we've been to Permanence we've never had to pay anything on site.

We get the bill at home a few weeks/months later, pay and either get the refund from BUPA or we don't and we nag Trollefar's employer for a refund.
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Old 18.08.2015, 21:37
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Re: Spital Triemli

Surely as a German he would have been covered under EHIC agreements and could have shown his EHIC card at a later date subject to given his German home address?
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Old 18.08.2015, 21:40
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Re: Spital Triemli

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I think you're right and I should complain officially. I thought I may have missed something that could have explained them turning him away, but the more I go over it more shocking I find it. I would hate to think of someone else going through that.

The worst thing is, that sort of wound would have costs peanuts to clean and bandage up, even in Switzerland. I have to check again with him, but I can't imagine any doctor would have turned them away.
I got a fancy you maybe missing something here, "Lost in translation" possibly ?

Any doctor NOT treating this would probably have a hard time with the medical council and potentially risks being struck off.

I think it needs a bit more than cleaning and bandaging, there again, maybe it looks worse than it actually is.

In Middle East, Dubai, it is normal to pay first and then get treatment, here for emergencies, it is the other way round, from my experiences.
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Old 18.08.2015, 22:35
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Re: Spital Triemli

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In Middle East, Dubai, it is normal to pay first and then get treatment, here for emergencies, it is the other way round, from my experiences.
And rightly so. I hope you're not aiming at Middle Eastern standards, right?
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Old 18.08.2015, 22:44
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Spital Triemli

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Surely as a German he would have been covered under EHIC agreements and could have shown his EHIC card at a later date subject to given his German home address?

Yeah, i don't understand that. My FIL (Dutch) went to a small hospital near Bern with shortness of breath, he was admitted and observed for 2-3 days, no problem. His insurance talked to the hospital and they worked it out. Granted, this was a few years ago, but i didn't think things changed that much.
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Old 18.08.2015, 22:54
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Re: Spital Triemli

Different viewpoint, Assuming that the pool did basic first aid and bandaged it, it is not life-threatening and could be sorted at the local doctor or 24 hour clinic and did not need 'emergency' treatment in the sense that it had to be fixed in the next two hours.

Plenty of time to get the wallet, follow the paperwork and sort it out. The inability to produce Swiss ID (as insurance is compulsory in Switzerland) or some sort willingness to pay up-front, the hospital would consider them unlikely to pay...or deliberately trying to avoid paying.

Did they actually remove the bandages and 'triage' the patient or were they headed off at the door by the 'admin' staff? When we go to the kids hospital for non-emergency, we go to the admin desk (admissions) but it's a different place to the triage for emergency...I wonder if they got assessed as non-urgent...and of course the patient could have stayed at the hospital waiting room whilst someone else went home to get the paperwork/bank card.

Even if you had the paperwork, if the hospital is busy, you could be waiting several hours before getting treatment if it is simply not 'urgent'...

Edited to add: triemli is a massively big and busy hospital. Sometimes the smaller hospitals are far less busy.
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