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Old 19.02.2019, 09:00
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Emergency spine

Hi
I have an emergency query. I'm in Switzerland visiting my boyfriend
I do have back pain issues since years but not this extreme that I can't walk
I was doing squats yesterday and I got an instant pain and now I can't walk. It's the lower back feels like a slipped disc hurts like a knife throbing. Like a 3cm cracked bone. I can't lift myself up.

I don't have insurance
I might have my national health insurance card from UK


If I go to the hospital what can they do and am I covered? Is it too late to get some sort of insurance now and will it cover surgery? Xrays etc? Will It be put under premedical conditions even though its accident from squating?

If you have advice or anything let me know



Painkillers aren't helping
In a UK national British citizen. I don't live in Switzerland just holiday
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:02
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Re: Emergency spine

Emergency treatment is covered in Switzerland. You should have your European Health Card card with you. First look for it here. Can someone from the UK not send you yours if you have forgotten it?
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:06
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Re: Emergency spine

I believe I forgot it. I can't move right now because I'm in pain. My boyfriend is at work. As soon as I can I will try to get up and look for it. I am glad im covered and dont have to pay anything.
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:08
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Re: Emergency spine

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I believe I forgot it. I can't move right now because I'm in pain. My boyfriend is at work. As soon as I can I will try to get up and look for it. I am glad im covered and dont have to pay anything.
You can call your boyfriend or if absolutely necessary an ambulance (dial 144). Can you reach your phone? When will your boyfriend be back?
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:12
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Re: Emergency spine

Yes I'm using my phone now. I will wait till he back maybe he will take me to the hospital tonight. As long as I am laying down im OK. I just can't get up or move my spine as that's when i feel the pain. I' just wanted to know my options. What can the hospital do.because pain killers aren't working.
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:14
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Re: Emergency spine

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Yes I'm using my phone now. I will wait till he back maybe he will take me to the hospital tonight. As long as I am laying down im OK. I just can't get up or move my spine as that's when i feel the pain. I' just wanted to know my options. What can the hospital do.because pain killers aren't working.
I think you should seek proper medical advice before moving.
Perhaps you can wait until your boyfriend comes and then call an ambulance so you can be moved properly. It will be better that he is there as well to open the door for them etc.
All the best!
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:15
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Re: Emergency spine

The hospital won't turn you away just because you don't have the actual card
If it's that bad call 144 .. Deal with the admin later..


You don't have travel insurance? (See below re ambulance)



** ambulance is very likely not covered by the euro health card so expect a bill of 700 - 1000 chf if you take that route ***


Ps : Why on earth were you doing squats on holiday
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:22
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Re: Emergency spine

It's not really a holiday I have been visiting him for years so it's more just to visit him and try to keep fit at the same time


I will definitely not get an ambulance as that's too expensive for my purse.

Other than that if it doesn't get better I'll get a lift there and hope I won't need to pay anything.

I don't have travel insurance no unfortunately

Thanks
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:26
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Re: Emergency spine

If you used a credit card to book your flight, you may have some medical insurance on that...
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Old 19.02.2019, 09:28
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Re: Emergency spine

Someone else paid my flight this time...
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Old 19.02.2019, 10:39
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Re: Emergency spine

At a guess I would say it's most likely a muscle spasm rather than a disc herniation especially if you have no pain or numbness down your butt or legs. You could try taking some muscle relaxants and seeing if that helps a bit.

If not then go to the emergency room and get it checked out. Health is more important than money.
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Old 19.02.2019, 10:47
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Re: Emergency spine

I may have broken my back, oh crap, what to do????

I know, I'll ask for advise on the internet!

Heres a new spine for you, just copy/paste it

I
I
I
I
I
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Old 19.02.2019, 11:59
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Re: Emergency spine

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What can the hospital do.because pain killers aren't working.
When I was in severe pain, the doctor at the hospital gave me an injection that took all the pain away.

The hospital will also diagnose the issue (hopefully!), and start treatment. You may have an MRI, CAT scan etc.

The pain medication may make you nauseous. Morphine certainly does that to me.
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Old 19.02.2019, 12:36
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Re: Emergency spine

You're being fairly stupid about this, call an ambulance and get it checked out, believe me, it will be far easier and far cheaper than using a wheel chair for the rest of your life.


You do not need a card to gain access to the hospital, they will treat you first and then ask for papers and cards and the such like.
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Old 19.02.2019, 13:20
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Re: Emergency spine

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I will definitely not get an ambulance as that's too expensive for my purse.
Probably not as expensive as causing yourself permanent damage...

You need to get to the hospital now when all the specialist are available and not tonight when the night shift take over.

Call your boyfriend and get him out of work and home to help you sort this out. And then go to hospital. You should be his priority, so it should not be an issue.

Between the two of you and family, I’m sure you can cover the costs.

Last edited by Jim2007; 19.02.2019 at 14:49.
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Old 19.02.2019, 14:07
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Re: Emergency spine

Have no idea if your UK NHS insurance covers costs outside the UK for either accident or insurance.

All I can say is that my standard insurance in Switzerland distinguishes between health and accident. Accident is covered fully by my employers insurance on a private basis, however again, no idea how the UK system works.

Seems to me that you have at least 4 choices:

1. Lie there and suffer indefinitely

2. Get your BF to assist you in determining whether you're insured or not e.g by contacting your insurance, while you've already visited the hospital

3. Follow the advice of other posters and call 144 for an ambulance (which will set you back about CHF 1000.-, plus other costs if you are not medically insured). But I expect this will not be payable there and then, but by invoice

4. Bite the bullet and bear the costs and learn from the experience of travelling without informing yourself of documentation / insurance coverage you will need before leaving UK (hate to think how it will be after Brexit)

Sorry, but it's way things are. And if you come here regularly it's like driving your own car into a wall, as you should have been aware of your health and accident insurance situation abroad.

Wish you a good recovery!
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Old 19.02.2019, 14:11
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Re: Emergency spine

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Have no idea if your UK NHS insurance covers costs outside the UK for either accident or insurance.
Emergencies and the subsequent necessary treatment during the stay in Switzerland, whether accident or illness, are most certainly covered for holders of the European Health Card.
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Old 19.02.2019, 14:15
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Re: Emergency spine

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Emergencies and the subsequent necessary treatment during the stay in Switzerland, whether accident or illness, are most certainly covered for holders of the European Health Card.
OK, so Clocker has answered the question - now get to the hospital and sort out the details later!
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Old 19.02.2019, 14:17
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Re: Emergency spine

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Does this also include OECD countries like Switzerland?
Yes.
https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/hea...d-switzerland/

At present, the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare at a reduced cost, or sometimes for free, on the same basis as a resident of that country.

EHIC covers you for necessary treatment until your planned return.

It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and routine maternity care, as long as you're not going abroad to give birth.
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Old 19.02.2019, 14:20
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Re: Emergency spine

https://contactcentreservices.nhsbsa...the-ehic-cover

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/hea...d-switzerland/

Details of what your EHIC card covers are here.

Edit: post crossed with Clocker and quoted post had been deleted whilst I was typing.
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