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Old 09.07.2012, 01:00
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My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

For months, I have looking for English-speaking Gynecologist, as my french is still in bad condition. Fortunately, my husband's (he's Swiss-Italian) High School friend, happens to be a daughter of a Male Gynecologist.

She was kind enough to refer me to an English-speaking doctor. The clinic was really close to our place. So I went this week to register as a new patient. And to my dismay, she told me that, they dont accept new patients. . And she referred me to a nearby OB-GYne clinic who was English-speaking as well.

Arriving from the entrance, I speak to the receptionist, unfortunately, she doesn't speak English, and I was pass from another colleague to another colleague, until finally I was able to seek help from this nice Medical Technician.

The receptionist told me that, they can accept me but I can set my appointment on the last week of October. So, I asked again what If I need to be checked up immediately. She told me to wait until October or look for another clinic that accepts new patients.

I was wondering, why they don't accept new patients? Even my in-laws were surprised when I told them this.

Just sharing a story. Maybe some of you can relate to me, specially those who doesn't speak the Swiss languages yet.

Wishing ya'll a good Monday EF peepz!
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Old 09.07.2012, 01:18
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

It's fairly common that there will be a long wait for a routine gyne visit - 3 to 6 months, depending on the area/availability.

That shouldn't be a problem if one is simply going for a routine check up.

However if you have specific concerns, please see your GP right away - if the problem warrants it, he/she will get you a referral so that you can see the gyne immediately. (Or thereabouts, depending on the seriousness of your concerns.)

Keep in mind the wait when scheduling your yearly exam - book early!

---

Unfortunately, it's also fairly common to find doctors who are not taking on new patients. Switzerland has a shortage of doctors - most urgently GPs - especially in non-metro areas.
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Old 09.07.2012, 01:21
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Old 09.07.2012, 01:23
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

Yep, the 2-3 month wait for an appointment is pretty standard.

Once you actually have your appointment and the doctor asks you how you are doing or if you have any questions, don't get too chatty. They charge you by the minute.

Also, my doctor asked if she could do an ultrasound because she likes to do that with new patients. Sure, why not...good idea to check and make sure everything is healthy, right? Big bucks for that too. It was nice to see that everything was fine though.

Good luck and I hope you find a doc that you are happy with.
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Old 09.07.2012, 01:56
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Yep, the 2-3 month wait for an appointment is pretty standard.

Once you actually have your appointment and the doctor asks you how you are doing or if you have any questions, don't get too chatty. They charge you by the minute.

Also, my doctor asked if she could do an ultrasound because she likes to do that with new patients. Sure, why not...good idea to check and make sure everything is healthy, right? Big bucks for that too. It was nice to see that everything was fine though.

Good luck and I hope you find a doc that you are happy with.
My doctor does a yearly ultrasound as part of the pelvic exam. I think the cost of appointment was CHF 250. Not really that expensive, IMHO. And really, if you have questions, shouldn't you ask them?
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Old 09.07.2012, 02:33
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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My doctor does a yearly ultrasound as part of the pelvic exam. I think the cost of appointment was CHF 250. Not really that expensive, IMHO. And really, if you have questions, shouldn't you ask them?
Of course. I think it's a good idea to make note of things you are wondering about as they pop up and then formulate your questions before the appointment. That way you can be efficient with your time with the doctor. Just don't start chatting about how much you like Switzerland and how well you are finding things since moving here. It is much cheaper to have that chat with someone you aren't paying by the minute.

The doc I saw said she likes to do the ultrasound for new patients. I didn't realize this would be an extra charge. The u/s alone was over 200chf. But I would like to get the u/s again this year, as there is a history of cancer in my family and it is worth the peace of mind.

It's just a different system from what I'm used to. In Canada, you aren't billed for every healthcare-related visit. You pay your regular health care premiums and then talk as long with the doc as they'll let you and get all the exams you need without paying extra. But you also spend 10x as long waiting for everything as you do here.

Overall I'm really happy with the healthcare system here.
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Old 09.07.2012, 02:43
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Of course. I think it's a good idea to make note of things you are wondering about as they pop up and then formulate your questions before the appointment. That way you can be efficient with your time with the doctor. Just don't start chatting about how much you like Switzerland and how well you are finding things since moving here. It is much cheaper to have that chat with someone you aren't paying by the minute.
Don't you send your bill to your health insurance?
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Old 09.07.2012, 03:59
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Don't you send your bill to your health insurance?
Yes, but they don't reimburse everything. Especially with the gyn appointment, we hardly got anything back.

edit: Clarification - we didn't get anything back for the gyn appointment, because it was the only time I went to the doctor last year. Apparently I didn't spend enough on healthcare, so they didn't reimburse us for the appointment so that I would pay into it enough for the year. I dunno, that's how my hubby tries to explain it to me. I just remembered that we paid out of pocket for that appointment, and that's why it seemed so expensive to me.

Well, that's enough of my babbling on this thread.

Last edited by Amazonna; 09.07.2012 at 04:20.
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Old 09.07.2012, 07:36
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Of course. I think it's a good idea to make note of things you are wondering about as they pop up and then formulate your questions before the appointment. That way you can be efficient with your time with the doctor. Just don't start chatting about how much you like Switzerland and how well you are finding things since moving here. It is much cheaper to have that chat with someone you aren't paying by the minute.

The doc I saw said she likes to do the ultrasound for new patients. I didn't realize this would be an extra charge. The u/s alone was over 200chf. But I would like to get the u/s again this year, as there is a history of cancer in my family and it is worth the peace of mind.

It's just a different system from what I'm used to. In Canada, you aren't billed for every healthcare-related visit. You pay your regular health care premiums and then talk as long with the doc as they'll let you and get all the exams you need without paying extra. But you also spend 10x as long waiting for everything as you do here.

Overall I'm really happy with the healthcare system here.
The Canadian system is awful compared to the Swiss in my experience. It's not to say there aren't bad doctors and medical care here but it's worse in Canada I've found. My friend recently had a baby in Canada and when she requested an epidural she was told there was nobody on staff to give her one.
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Old 09.07.2012, 09:36
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Yes, but they don't reimburse everything. Especially with the gyn appointment, we hardly got anything back.

edit: Clarification - we didn't get anything back for the gyn appointment, because it was the only time I went to the doctor last year. Apparently I didn't spend enough on healthcare, so they didn't reimburse us for the appointment so that I would pay into it enough for the year. I dunno, that's how my hubby tries to explain it to me. I just remembered that we paid out of pocket for that appointment, and that's why it seemed so expensive to me.

Well, that's enough of my babbling on this thread.
Ah, ok. Your franchise (deductible) is higher than what you spent on the appointment. And if you have no other medical expenses, then you will pay and not be reimbursed. Not a bad thing because you don't have many medical expenses.


But you're right - if you have few expenses and a high franchise, don't get too chatty.
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Old 09.07.2012, 10:07
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

Good Morning Guys!


Thank you for all the comments, and hopefully I will be able to find one real soon, I just need to be checked up. My last check up was 1 year ago in Italy.

It's my yearly routine to have my PAP-Smear and I am very prone to UTI, thats why I was looking for a Gyne.

But anyways, thank you for all the infos... ^__^... Appreciate it much!!!

Have a great day!!!
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Old 09.07.2012, 10:33
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

have you tried your local gynecologist? It took me 15 mins to call the guy (I live in Allschwil) and then I had an appointment in the next 3 days. I think when you go to the hospitals is where you have to wait!!
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Old 09.07.2012, 10:40
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

I am male, so I can't really comment but I'd like to ask:
Can't you look-up the vocabulary you need in google-translate before the visit and write them/print them on a piece of paper?
As to what the doctor replies: again, google translate should be able to get the gist of what the doctors says to you.

I only had French in school, so mine would be quite rusty - but I can't imagine much problems visiting any doctor, as much of the vocabulary is medical anyway - in any language.

But as the waiting period seems to be so long anyway, you should be able to learn some basic french conversation-skills by the time you get an appointment ;-)
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Old 09.07.2012, 10:49
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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I am male, so I can't really comment but I'd like to ask:
Can't you look-up the vocabulary you need in google-translate before the visit and write them/print them on a piece of paper?
As to what the doctor replies: again, google translate should be able to get the gist of what the doctors says to you.

I only had French in school, so mine would be quite rusty - but I can't imagine much problems visiting any doctor, as much of the vocabulary is medical anyway - in any language.

But as the waiting period seems to be so long anyway, you should be able to learn some basic french conversation-skills by the time you get an appointment ;-)
Most people want to speak to a doctor in a language they feel comfortable in. There is a high chance that something will be lost in translation or misinterpreted if you are struggling along with a phrasebook during the consultation.

My German is pretty good but I have an English speaking doctor just to make sure I'm absolutely sure what is being said. Having said that, one of the midwives on shift when I was having my son didn't speak any English and I managed to get through that with no problems. I picked up some handy German phrases and she probably learned how to swear like a docker in English.
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Old 09.07.2012, 11:02
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

Would have probably been much faster had you gone to your GP first and ask her/him to refer you (especially if considered urgent).
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Old 09.07.2012, 11:36
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Most people want to speak to a doctor in a language they feel comfortable in. There is a high chance that something will be lost in translation or misinterpreted if you are struggling along with a phrasebook during the consultation.

My German is pretty good but I have an English speaking doctor just to make sure I'm absolutely sure what is being said. Having said that, one of the midwives on shift when I was having my son didn't speak any English and I managed to get through that with no problems. I picked up some handy German phrases and she probably learned how to swear like a docker in English.
I do the same- with something like health, you don't want to get anything lost in translation. Also, medical language can be quite challenging- as I found out after visiting the emergency room due to a severely sprained ankle last year.

It is normal to wait a long time for a gynaecologist, or any specialist. I went to a clinic to get a refill of my birth control, and was told quite sternly that "normal doctor's don't do this in Switzerland" and that I would need to find a gynaecologist and would probably have to wait 6 months for an appointment. I was terrified! After a google search, I found an English Gynaecologist in a neighbouring town. Although she wasn't close, I was happy to wait 4 months to finally see her. She is a great doctor, and was worth the wait. That was earlier this year, and I just got a letter in the mail saying that she's moving to Kreuzlingen!

You can call around for a new english-speaking doctor, it's best to have enough French to try to speak with the front desk crew- even if it isn't perfect.
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Old 09.07.2012, 12:39
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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have you tried your local gynecologist? It took me 15 mins to call the guy (I live in Allschwil) and then I had an appointment in the next 3 days. I think when you go to the hospitals is where you have to wait!!
This is a private clinic dear, but apparently the these doctors are related to the hospitals nearby.

Yeah, you wait in vain in the hospital even if the Q is not the long... I am trying to call again, I am checking some doctors online...
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Old 09.07.2012, 12:44
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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I am male, so I can't really comment but I'd like to ask:
Can't you look-up the vocabulary you need in google-translate before the visit and write them/print them on a piece of paper?
As to what the doctor replies: again, google translate should be able to get the gist of what the doctors says to you.

I only had French in school, so mine would be quite rusty - but I can't imagine much problems visiting any doctor, as much of the vocabulary is medical anyway - in any language.

But as the waiting period seems to be so long anyway, you should be able to learn some basic french conversation-skills by the time you get an appointment ;-)

Yeah, I do know basic french, but when you go to a clinic and you talk to a receptionist who has the face that says "I-am-so-stressed-today-i-dont-have-time-to-talk-to-people-like-you-" and she speaks french so fast that I couldn't follow. And she's giving you sighs and frowns because you cant understand each other... Ah well, the life in Swiss.^_^

Today, I am calling again, so hopefully I can have an appointment this week.
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Old 09.07.2012, 12:48
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

Quote:
Most people want to speak to a doctor in a language they feel comfortable in. There is a high chance that something will be lost in translation or misinterpreted if you are struggling along with a phrasebook during the consultation.

My German is pretty good but I have an English speaking doctor just to make sure I'm absolutely sure what is being said. Having said that, one of the midwives on shift when I was having my son didn't speak any English and I managed to get through that with no problems. I picked up some handy German phrases and she probably learned how to swear like a docker in English.
Funny!

Super thanks for the support... *HUGS*... I dont know you but I feel like giving you a BIG BEAR HUG!!!! ^_^...
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Old 09.07.2012, 13:09
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Re: My first encounter with Swiss Gynecologists

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Yeah, I do know basic french, but when you go to a clinic and you talk to a receptionist who has the face that says "I-am-so-stressed-today-i-dont-have-time-to-talk-to-people-like-you-" and she speaks french so fast that I couldn't follow. And she's giving you sighs and frowns because you cant understand each other... Ah well, the life in Swiss.^_^

Today, I am calling again, so hopefully I can have an appointment this week.
O.K. I know the feeling and that kind of "face". Could you ask someone else to make an appt. for you if your language skills are not yet adequate?
Anyway, usually here doctors are very good, patient and take time to listen to all your concerns, without having that "subtle" smirk I have encountered in other places. But keep in mind that even if most of them speak good English, you do have to check out in advance if they indeed do so, and while you are there keep it simple and to the point otherwise you'll confuse them and will eventually have the impression they are incompetent. If you have some concerns or questions just ask, they don't know what your expectations are and how things "backhome" are done..
Oh well, this is for the German speaking part, I don't know how the Frenchies are.
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