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Old 13.11.2015, 10:20
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The doctor is not working today!!

Yesterday the little one got sick, could not breathe at night, and now we desperately need to see our paediatrician! Unfortunately today they are not working (normally they work on Fridays), and I just about managed to beg for an appointment with our GP (the grown-up doctor, as my son calls him). Thankfully they understood it was an urgent request. Back in the UK, if this were to happen on a Friday, our first port of call would be our GP, and if they could not fit us in, the walk in centre.

But that begs the question: how do you deal with sick children when your doctor is away? Do you go to another GP/ paediatrician/ hospital? What information do you then pass to your insurance company, if any?
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Old 13.11.2015, 10:22
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

I thought you call the doctor/praxis and if the appointment isn't possible, they would point you where to go and wouldn't let you in doubts deppending the urgency of the case of course...
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Old 13.11.2015, 10:25
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

Usually if the regular doctor isn't working there will be an emergency contact number given on their answer machine.
If there isn't an alternative given and it is really an emergency then I would take the child to the nearest walk in clinic or hospital emergency department. (especially on a Friday)
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Old 13.11.2015, 10:33
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

A common problem here, as many doctors only work part time.

Is there a is a Notfallarzt service in your Gemeinde, where one of the area doctor remains on call on a rota basis after normal business hours? If so, one would call here first. But possibly the doctor on call might be a GP not a pediatrician. In our village, the number to call the Notfallarzt is listed on the Gemeinde website.

(Iit still can be difficult to get seen if you are not one of the rota doctor's regular patients. But that's here, hopefully your area is better served.)


Perhaps too far from you, but there is a Kinder Permanence in Zurich city and Winterthur:

http://www.swissmedikids.ch/de/
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Old 13.11.2015, 10:41
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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I thought you call the doctor/praxis and if the appointment isn't possible, they would point you where to go and wouldn't let you in doubts deppending the urgency of the case of course...
That's what I was expecting too; but it turned out that the receptionist had no idea who I could contact instead.

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Usually if the regular doctor isn't working there will be an emergency contact number given on their answer machine.
If there isn't an alternative given and it is really an emergency then I would take the child to the nearest walk in clinic or hospital emergency department. (especially on a Friday)
The praxis is shared by two doctors (one being our paediatrician). So the praxis is open, just that our doctor is not working today. I get to the receptionist, no problem, but she did not have the information to give.

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...
Is there a is a Notfallarzt service in your Gemeinde, where one of the area doctor remains on call on a rota basis after normal business hours? If so, one would call here first. But possibly the doctor on call might be a GP not a pediatrician. In our village, the number to call the Notfallarzt is listed on the Gemeinde website.
...
I did not know about this Notfallartz service - will get the info from our Gemeinde website.

Thankfully in this case, I did get an appointment with our GP, but thanks for the link to the Swissmedkids ;o)
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Old 13.11.2015, 10:47
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

As far as I remember, it should be mentioned in insurance that an emergency number can be called 365 days 24 hours for a cost, or

You should know the nearest child hospital as well (There is one is Luzern as far as I know)

You can also always call the nearest hospitals emergency when it is not a regular working hour.

I also found this online:
http://www.elternnotruf.ch/elternberatung/?L=0
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Old 13.11.2015, 10:47
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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Yesterday the little one got sick, could not breathe at night, and now we desperately need to see our paediatrician! Unfortunately today they are not working (normally they work on Fridays), and I just about managed to beg for an appointment with our GP (the grown-up doctor, as my son calls him). Thankfully they understood it was an urgent request. Back in the UK, if this were to happen on a Friday, our first port of call would be our GP, and if they could not fit us in, the walk in centre.

But that begs the question: how do you deal with sick children when your doctor is away? Do you go to another GP/ paediatrician/ hospital? What information do you then pass to your insurance company, if any?
Much better to go to an HMO group practice which will have many Dr's at the practice. Your insurance will be cheaper too.
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Old 13.11.2015, 10:54
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

Hope your little one is feeling better today!

I can tell you how it works here in Glarus, with the caveat that that may or may not be similar to how it works where you live....

Here there are only two pediatricians in the canton. Each of them is normally off a different half-day of the week, and instructs patients to call the other practice if something happens on that day which is urgent but not acute enough for an emergency run to the hospital. For unscheduled absences they leave the contact number of the other one on their voice mail message.

For nights and weekends there is a rota of on-call local doctors (not specifically pediatricians) - which is always printed on the front page of the free local newspaper. If you'd accidentally lit the fire with your free local newspaper that week, I reckon you could call the front desk of the hospital and they'd be able to give you the number.
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:04
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

Hope he is feeling better now. Of course in the UK, you would never go to a peadriatrician unless specically referred by GP. With such a shortage at the moment, the Swiss will have to wean themselves on the idea that they need to go to a peadiatrician with a child I'm afraid. What we will do when we also run out of GPs (very soon where I live) - both here and in the UK, I have no idea.
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:05
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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What we will do when we also run out of GPs (very soon where I live) - both here and in the UK, I have no idea.
Increase the amount of pay, is the way such problems are solved.
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:10
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

In one of the Stickies at the top of the Family matters/health subforum (where this thread really belongs!) there are several numbers which might help. Others can be added to enable members to find them more easily.
Here.

Somehow it seems to have gone out of fashion on EF to point folk towards the stickies. Pity really as there a lot of good stuff set out in them (in the Housing Forum too).

Hope the little one is OK now. Scarey!
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:13
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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Increase the amount of pay, is the way such problems are solved.
not necessarily- in the UK for instance, and here too- although the GP training is not so specific, not enough GPs are being trained, they work half the hours older GPs worked, a large number choose to work part-time, and a a large % are going to work abroad. In Switzerland, few go into General Practice, and even fewer want to work in rural areas.
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:19
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

He is feeling better, in that he is able to breathe - he last had ventolin at night, and he is now playing and is not so clingy. Thankfully, we know what he has (chest infection by the sound of things), and we are seeing the doctor this afternoon.

Thank you!
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:22
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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Much better to go to an HMO group practice which will have many Dr's at the practice. Your insurance will be cheaper too.
We do, but we only have 1 doctor in that praxis ;o). It took a while to get a paediatrician, so I am not letting her go, just yet!

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For nights and weekends there is a rota of on-call local doctors (not specifically pediatricians) - which is always printed on the front page of the free local newspaper. If you'd accidentally lit the fire with your free local newspaper that week, I reckon you could call the front desk of the hospital and they'd be able to give you the number.
I need to "read" our local rags more carefully then! They are not lit on fire, but the boys spend hours cutting away shapes and practising their cutting skills
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:28
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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not necessarily- in the UK for instance, and here too- although the GP training is not so specific, not enough GPs are being trained, they work half the hours older GPs worked, a large number choose to work part-time, and a a large % are going to work abroad. In Switzerland, few go into General Practice, and even fewer want to work in rural areas.
Banning NHs Dr's from doing any private work would be a start. I don't know of any other employees who can compete with their employer.

Are you saying the Dr's go abroad for a lower pay than in the UK.... I think not.

Working in rural areas will always be an issue, people in rural areas want to be subsidised by people who live in towns. If the demand existed there would be no shortage of Dr's, Hospitals & Chemists.
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:39
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

I wonder if part of the problem is that we are still trying to fit young doctors into a model that no longer works for the way they wish (or are willing) to work today?

For instance, does the numerus clausus take into account that so many doctors only want to work part time? If not, we are already behind even before a student qualifies.

A doctor who only wants to work part time might dismiss the idea of becoming a GP due to the requirement for on call rota duty. A doctor with young children might not be able to do on call hours, for instance.

I see Switzerland clinging to the idea of the dedicated, kindly village doctor, pillar of the community, always there for his patients, round the clock. At the same time we have raised recent generations to the mantra of 'work life balance' ... Is it any surprise that young people are no longer willing to work the kind of hours needed to provide care for the community?

A rethink is needed into how the work of a GP is structured if Switzerland is to successfully lure more young doctors into general practice.

And likely more money as well. Either in salaries or in the increased cost of training many more doctors.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:21
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

When I was sick and my parents took me the doctor, he usually changed to a shorter needle.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:22
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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Hope he is feeling better now. Of course in the UK, you would never go to a peadriatrician unless specically referred by GP. With such a shortage at the moment, the Swiss will have to wean themselves on the idea that they need to go to a peadiatrician with a child I'm afraid.
From my experience they already have. It's very rare to go to the GP with a child here and everybody goes directly to the paediatrician ( which is the exact opposite of the UK). Having said that most of the paediatricians here just seem to be GPs for children, the specialist paediatricians seem to work in the hospitals.

As I understand it the OP has a regular paediatrician who just happened to not be working today and in the absence of any alternative she is taking her child ( exceptionally as it's an emergency) to her normal GP.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:40
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

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As I understand it the OP has a regular paediatrician who just happened to not be working today and in the absence of any alternative she is taking her child ( exceptionally as it's an emergency) to her normal GP.
That's correct!

I agree that the paediatricians here tend to be generally GP for kids! We used our own GP for the kids too for the first year since we landed here, just as we would in the UK. But even the GP asked me whether I was getting a paediatrician for the boys, when I enquired about the immunisation schedule for the boys! So I thought best do like the locals.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:46
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Re: The doctor is not working today!!

Ring up nearest hospital, there is ALWAYS a paediatrician available, either physically or on call
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