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Old 12.09.2017, 13:49
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How to fill prescriptions?

Greetings All. I am recently arrived in Switzerland and have found a family doctor. During an appt to establish care he agreed to prescribe some medication for me. I discovered upon getting to my car that they had not given me any paperwork about my visit or a paper prescription. Is it usual for a doctor to give a patient a paper prescription? Is there some other method here? I have tried to contact their office to no avail; the front desk lady won't speak to non-German speakers on the phone. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12.09.2017, 14:01
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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Greetings All. I am recently arrived in Switzerland and have found a family doctor. During an appt to establish care he agreed to prescribe some medication for me. I discovered upon getting to my car that they had not given me any paperwork about my visit or a paper prescription. Is it usual for a doctor to give a patient a paper prescription? Is there some other method here? I have tried to contact their office to no avail; the front desk lady won't speak to non-German speakers on the phone. Thanks in advance.
They can also order it for you, you pick it up. Provided you arranged for this with your doc of course.
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Old 12.09.2017, 14:10
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

Ok, I'll say it since we are all wondering. Why in the world would you pick a doctor whose receptionist won't speak to you on the phone? How did you manage to make the appointment in the first place?

And, yes, they write prescriptions. They also call in prescriptions. Bottom line, you need to be able to communicate with your physician and his staff.
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Old 12.09.2017, 14:11
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

Either they give you a paper (or whatever) so you can pick it up somewhere, or they give you the medicine, or they tell you where you can pick it up and they send the prescription themselves.

If none of this happened, how are you ever getting your medicines?

And tbh I'd choose another doctor instead of one where communication with the front-desk is impossible.
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Old 12.09.2017, 14:17
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

I either get the medication directly at the reception (doctor´s) or I get a prescription to take with me to get it from a pharmacy.
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Old 12.09.2017, 14:46
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

SWICA recommended this doctor because he speaks excellent English. When I called to make the initial appointment he himself answered the phone and set up my appointment. However their main front desk lady apparently is not interested in talking to me; I didn't know this until I left after my appointment. When I asked about a followup appointment or other information she mocked me by asking if I spoke any languages at all: French? Italian? Chinese? Spanish?. So I thought I'd get more information here on the forum before I went to the office to ask for the Rx. To answer the question; I had medication (Lexapro) from home (USA) but am running out now. I will go to the office now and ask in person what the deal is. Thanks for the info about the paper Rx vs. calling in an Rx. Now I know what to ask. If she doesn't want to talk to me I will wait to talk to the nurse. I live in Zug; I hoped for a doctor's office where English would be acceptable by all. Thanks for the help folks.
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Old 12.09.2017, 15:15
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

Usually it's not up to receptionist to decide who they like to talk to. Sounds like it's time for you to have the doctor have a word or two with her/him or look for another doc.
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Old 12.09.2017, 15:21
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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Usually it's not up to receptionist to decide who they like to talk to. Sounds like it's time for you to have the doctor have a word or two with her/him or look for another doc.
There are one or two posts on this topic on the forum, and I know of examples myself.

I would definitely mention it to the doctor - having ready access is important; and if you phone up when really ill, last thing you need is an unpleasant receptionist being difficult.
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Old 12.09.2017, 15:23
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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SWICA recommended this doctor because he speaks excellent English. When I called to make the initial appointment he himself answered the phone and set up my appointment. However their main front desk lady apparently is not interested in talking to me; I didn't know this until I left after my appointment. When I asked about a followup appointment or other information she mocked me by asking if I spoke any languages at all: French? Italian? Chinese? Spanish?. So I thought I'd get more information here on the forum before I went to the office to ask for the Rx. To answer the question; I had medication (Lexapro) from home (USA) but am running out now. I will go to the office now and ask in person what the deal is. Thanks for the info about the paper Rx vs. calling in an Rx. Now I know what to ask. If she doesn't want to talk to me I will wait to talk to the nurse. I live in Zug; I hoped for a doctor's office where English would be acceptable by all. Thanks for the help folks.
<<When I asked about a followup appointment or other information she mocked me by asking if I spoke any languages at all: French? Italian? Chinese? Spanish?>> ROFL, you accepted that? I'm sure your Doctor will be very interested in that tidbit.
<<I hoped for a doctor's office where English would be acceptable by all.>> Chances are good that this one soon will be, once the Doctor knows what's going on outside his door.

Either see him personally or send him an email (not the official praxis email-address, logically ) and tell him about this problem.
The front-desk people of my ophthalmologist also believe they are cerberi ... I beat them every time
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Old 12.09.2017, 15:45
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

call Swica. Get them to call the doctor and have your prescription mailed to your home.

Be sure to tell them why you need their help. Definitely get a new doctor.

Last edited by Mrs. Doolittle; 12.09.2017 at 19:02.
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:17
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

I can't say for the rest of the world, but doctor's receptionists over here have a dreadful reputation; they see themselves as gatekeepers and diagnosticians, whereas they're actually more akin to Cerberus, our last GP a case in point.
However, we since moved a practice where the reception is staffed by the practice nurses and they are incredibly helpful.
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:29
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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If she doesn't want to talk to me I will wait to talk to the nurse. I live in Zug; I hoped for a doctor's office where English would be acceptable by all. Thanks for the help folks.
It happened to me too to encounter such idiotic receptionists, even though I spoke German with her, maybe not an excellent German but for sure understandable. In the meantime she was talking very nicely and all that with a Spanish speaking patient, so much deference towards other patients. I found her ridiculous and pathetic. In my case she was not there for a long time otherwise I would have mentioned her behaviour to the GP or would have chosen another praxis.
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:45
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

The receptionist is a bitch. I would definitely either call SWICA and tell them of your experience, or talk to the doctor again. No need for that treatment. The receptionist clearly needs training or another position.

As for your prescriptions - some doctors dispense the meds themselves and bill you (or your insurance) - we had this in Bern. In Zurich, my doctor either writes the prescription when I see her or I email her and ask her to fax a prescription to my pharmacy (never when I need it right away because you can't expect doctors to do rush jobs via email). If I need something quickly, i will call the office and in my very crap German, ask politely for whatever.

You sound very polite to me, so I'm sure that's not an issue. Good luck!
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:50
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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To answer the question; I had medication (Lexapro) from home (USA) but am running out now. I will go to the office now and ask in person what the deal is.
But how did you leave it with the doctor? Did he agree to prescribe something for you, tell you to come back.... I can't ever remember leaving a doctor's appointment without knowing what the next steps were.
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Old 12.09.2017, 16:55
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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I either get the medication directly at the reception (doctor´s) or I get a prescription to take with me to get it from a pharmacy.
It's the same for me, but that is no longer the norm. The rules changed sometime back that impact the ability of newer practices in towns and cities to dispense.
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Old 12.09.2017, 17:06
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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You sound very polite to me, so I'm sure that's not an issue. Good luck!
People can have a totally different behaviour in real life. What she sounds like on Ef is neither here not there.
However, receptionists are there to assist one and be as supportive as they can, despite of difficulties in communication due to language etc.
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Old 12.09.2017, 18:23
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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People can have a totally different behaviour in real life. What she sounds like on Ef is neither here not there.
However, receptionists are there to assist one and be as supportive as they can, despite of difficulties in communication due to language etc.
I've found it to be very much the case that people's online responses reflect their personalities quite well. Maybe we observe different aspects of behavior online. Nevertheless, we seem to agree about the receptionist - more or less.
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Old 12.09.2017, 18:33
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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People can have a totally different behaviour in real life. What she sounds like on Ef is neither here not there.
However, receptionists are there to assist one and be as supportive as they can, despite of difficulties in communication due to language etc.
I have never had a doctor or dentist or lawyer here with an English speaking receptionist or nurse, though my dentist has had a couple of English spekaing hygenists over the past 20 years. And certainly not at the hospital.

Tom
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Old 12.09.2017, 18:52
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

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I have never had a doctor or dentist or lawyer here with an English speaking receptionist or nurse, though my dentist has had a couple of English spekaing hygenists over the past 20 years. And certainly not at the hospital.

Tom
All of my docs have/had staff who speak at least a bit of English and between us, we figure it out. Also physical therapists and some nursing/ED staff in Bern and Winterthur.
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Old 12.09.2017, 19:10
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Re: How to fill prescriptions?

I found it rather interesting that I could fill a prescription for a pet at the pharmacy with just a copy of the prescription on my phone. I have no idea if this works for humans.....


It was early evening on August 31, our dog needed an antibiotic eye drop and the vet was out of stock. She emailed the prescription and off I went to the pharmacy at Coop which is open late.


I was expecting to be asked to email the prescription from my phone so they could print it off, but there was no need.


There was some extra fees involved, but we were desperate and I was glad the pharmacy could help.


Now, to get back on topic.....to the OP, there is also a possibility to have a prescription which allows repeats so this stays on file at the pharmacy. It will say on the prescription how long it is valid for.
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