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Old 09.11.2019, 18:51
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First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

So I recently carried out health insurance with option of having a free doctor, paying a fair chunk out of wages for this ... so I went to visit the Doctor after work on Friday for the first time and the doctor was clearly not fit for work. He clearly appeared to be suffering from some sort of ongoing physical condition and barely made it to the top of the stairs. Once in the room, I was not asked any questions regarding my symptoms. At one point there was a few minutes of silence where I thought he was asleep .... The whole experience was weird with no solution to the problem and top top it off I then had to pay 70 CHF at the reception for the experience!! I can't say I'm impressed with the service, I know things are different here but I did expect a bit more of a service then this... Is this normal?!!! I was left feeling very frustrated and just all about the money....
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Old 09.11.2019, 19:16
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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Is this normal?!!!
Yes! Like everywhere and in every trade, there are good professionals and bad ones.

Just choose someone else next time.

All the best!
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Old 09.11.2019, 19:41
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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So I recently carried out health insurance with option of having a free doctor, paying a fair chunk out of wages for this
Doctors are not free.

Tom
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Old 09.11.2019, 19:41
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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... so I went to visit the Doctor after work on Friday for the first time and the doctor was clearly not fit for work. He clearly appeared to be suffering from some sort of ongoing physical condition and barely made it to the top of the stairs. Once in the room, I was not asked any questions regarding my symptoms.
If this was at a walk-in clinic, I think I've seen the same doctor. Have you not chosen your own GP?
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Old 09.11.2019, 19:45
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

Yes - it was the walk in clinic at the station. Just such a weird experience... I was expecting to pay, but even so I was at least expecting a few questions to be asked ie... what are you symptoms? How long have you had it etc... just basic questions surely in order to dianose a symptom?!! They are being paid enough!!
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Old 09.11.2019, 20:09
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

Yup, it's the same doctor I saw. The questions are often asked by the reception staff so that the doctor already has the information. I found him to be a sweet, thoughful man, but I do understand that if you've never met a doctor with a disability before, the experience may be outside of your expectations. I have so it doesn't phase me. He did examine me and gave me a couple of options for referal, but everything was down to my choice.

You will be better off finding a family doctor who you can build a relationship with rather than using walk-in centres. My experience of doctors here is that, because it's an insurance based system, your options are wide open, so their advice is also wide open and you have to choose. I find that disconcerting but you get used to it, and in hospital, it's totally different again and feels more familiar. Coming from the NHS system, I found it quite a mental shift to have so much choice in my treatment and hardly any waiting lists or delays.

My first GP appointment was an hour long, which would be highly unusual in the UK where we tend to have 15mins tops. She did my smear, but sent me to a haematology clinic near Stadelhofen to have my blood taken because I have deep set veins. I'd found a minor breast lump, which my doctor checked and sent me to the Brust Zentrum in Seefeld to have a mammogram and ultrasound scan. Your insurance covers that full well woman check every 2yrs, but as I have a direct family history of cervical cancer, I have it every year but pay for the additional one.
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Old 09.11.2019, 20:18
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

Thank you for the advice, I think being the first time I just didn't really know what to expect, the doctor was pleasant by all means. I might look into a family doctor of some sort rather than a walk in next time...!!
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Old 09.11.2019, 20:27
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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Doctors are not free.

Tom
She means free choice, I think. Are you being a clown?
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Old 09.11.2019, 20:31
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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So I recently carried out health insurance with option of having a free doctor, paying a fair chunk out of wages for this ... so I went to visit the Doctor after work on Friday for the first time and the doctor was clearly not fit for work. He clearly appeared to be suffering from some sort of ongoing physical condition and barely made it to the top of the stairs. Once in the room, I was not asked any questions regarding my symptoms. At one point there was a few minutes of silence where I thought he was asleep .... The whole experience was weird with no solution to the problem and top top it off I then had to pay 70 CHF at the reception for the experience!! I can't say I'm impressed with the service, I know things are different here but I did expect a bit more of a service then this... Is this normal?!!! I was left feeling very frustrated and just all about the money....
Simply find another doctor in the area you are living. Why did you have to pay cash?
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Old 09.11.2019, 21:10
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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Thank you for the advice, I think being the first time I just didn't really know what to expect, the doctor was pleasant by all means. I might look into a family doctor of some sort rather than a walk in next time...!!
Do it now, because it really is not the easy to get registered with the doctor of your choice.
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Old 09.11.2019, 21:45
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

If you have that model of insurance then take the mindset of thinking that the doctor is your service provider, they work for you, shop around, ask questions, ask friends, don't just run with it if you don't like them.

We went through a couple of GPs and paediatricians before settling with who we like.
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Old 09.11.2019, 22:23
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

Especially the ones in jail

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Doctors are not free.

Tom
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Old 09.11.2019, 23:46
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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Thank you for the advice, I think being the first time I just didn't really know what to expect, the doctor was pleasant by all means. I might look into a family doctor of some sort rather than a walk in next time...!!
Definitely. It's best to be registered with a family doctor to become part of the recall system for all those regular checks that you might be tempted to put off.
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Old 10.11.2019, 00:13
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

Since you have free choice of doctors (very good insurance option) and are expected to be self-determining and participatory, it is worth putting in the effort necessary to find a G.P. (family doctor, Hausarzt) and build that relationship. Ditto that with a pharmacy, gynaecologist, any other practitioner whom you might need to see on an ongoing basis.

Keep your own records, too, so you know whom you saw, when, and why.

Ask each doctor to send a copy of the report to your G.P. and ALSO to you.

You can save time, trouble and money if you insist that you're given your lab results, too, so you can take them along with you to any next doctor you may need to see.
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Old 10.11.2019, 09:08
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

I recently went from having a gp who was in practice by himself (with support staff), to a practice with multiple doctors. I find the latter is better since, although I have my doctor within the practice, if I need an appointment quickly, I can get one, possibly with one of the others, quite quickly. Multi-doctor practices usually have better facilities as well, since they share the costs. You're also more likely to be able to get on their list.

Depending on you age, I'd recommend getting a doctor younger than you. You don't want to build a relationship with them and then have them retire on you.
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Old 10.11.2019, 12:36
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

I saw the same doctor at the same clinic once. I was a bit taken a back seeing his condition but once I had the consultation I found him to be very competent. I really appreciated his careful interpretation of my lung x-ray even though my blood showed no sign of infection.

..and the treatment worked.
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Old 10.11.2019, 13:25
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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I'd recommend getting a doctor younger than you. You don't want to build a relationship with them and then have them retire on you.
Well, that works if you are older, but there weren't any younger than me when I got my current doctor, who is ten years older than me.

Fortunately, there is one who moved into our building some years ago, and she is 5 years younger than me, so is my backup (and 200m closer than my GP).

Tom
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Old 10.11.2019, 13:48
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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So I recently carried out health insurance with option of having a free doctor, paying a fair chunk out of wages for this ... so I went to visit the Doctor after work on Friday for the first time and the doctor was clearly not fit for work. He clearly appeared to be suffering from some sort of ongoing physical condition and barely made it to the top of the stairs. Once in the room, I was not asked any questions regarding my symptoms. At one point there was a few minutes of silence where I thought he was asleep .... The whole experience was weird with no solution to the problem and top top it off I then had to pay 70 CHF at the reception for the experience!! I can't say I'm impressed with the service, I know things are different here but I did expect a bit more of a service then this... Is this normal?!!! I was left feeling very frustrated and just all about the money....
So, if I have understood you correctly, you have a valid Swiss health insurance. Then presented your Krankenkasse card to the reception on attending the clinic. You filled-out the forms, and ticked the box which says something like “please send the bills directly to my Krankenkasse”, so they can directly reimburse you, and send me the surplus not covered by my insurance.

This is the usual scenario. Have also been to the excellent walk-in clinic at Zurich Main Station when desperate at weekends sometimes, and my local GP is not open until Monday 8:00.

That you have to pay cash while being covered by Swiss Krankenkasse insurance is not normal.

Nor is the service you received. You should write a complaint to the clinic, detailing this experience.

Secondly, you should find yourself a good general practitioner in your area. If you PM me I’ll send you mine. The walk-in clinics here are usually only used by people traveling through Switzerland, who don’t have their own GP for some reason, or if you require immediate medical help which doesn’t warrant going to the Emergency Room at e.g. the Uni Spital, Zurich.

In any case, they bill the same rates to your health insurance. And if you are living in Switzerland you will be covered under the mandatory health insurance.

So you should definitely not feel frustrated, and make a complaint to the clinic that treated you.
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Old 10.11.2019, 14:22
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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Since you have free choice of doctors (very good insurance option) and are expected to be self-determining and participatory, it is worth putting in the effort necessary to find a G.P. (family doctor, Hausarzt) and build that relationship. Ditto that with a pharmacy, gynaecologist, any other practitioner whom you might need to see on an ongoing basis.

Keep your own records, too, so you know whom you saw, when, and why.

Ask each doctor to send a copy of the report to your G.P. and ALSO to you.

You can save time, trouble and money if you insist that you're given your lab results, too, so you can take them along with you to any next doctor you may need to see.
My GP practice is so wired-in, that they receive the results of MRIs, results of visits to referred specialists etc. immediately. I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes for an appointment, and that’s probably because I usually arrive about 15 mins early so that the practice assistants can take any relevant blood or urine samples before my consultation.

I ask any specialist that I have for my medical “findings”, and I get it without any argument. It’s just normal that you want to take care of your own health.

The OP should complain if she feels that she wasn’t treated adequately.

It can be very hard to find a good GP in Zurich, because it’s not an attractive career choice within medicine. But that’s another discussion, also well documented.

I have provided the OP with a referral within Zurich, and hope that it helps.
It’s hard enough starting a new life here in Paradise, without having some good tipps
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Old 10.11.2019, 14:37
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Re: First experience of seeing a Doctor in Zurich

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So, if I have understood you correctly, you have a valid Swiss health insurance. Then presented your Krankenkasse card to the reception on attending the clinic. You filled-out the forms, and ticked the box which says something like “please send the bills directly to my Krankenkasse”, so they can directly reimburse you, and send me the surplus not covered by my insurance.

This is the usual scenario.
For most of my time here, this was NOT the usual scenario, usual was you paid the bills and KK reimbursed you once you were over the franchise (i.e. almost never)

Tom
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