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Old 14.02.2021, 13:49
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Specialist (dermatologist) consultations

Hello,


I've been in Switzerland for a few months (in the Baden area).


I need to get my skin checked by a dermatologist. I am not familiar with the method here. In the Australian system (that I am familiar with) I would first visit my local General Practitioner who would then refer me to a specialist.


Is that the same in Switzerland? Or can I just look up a nearby dermatologist and ask for a consultation directly?


thank you,


Klim
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Old 14.02.2021, 14:17
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Re: Specialist (dermatologist) consultations

This depends on the type of medical insurance you took out.
  • Some of them make it obligatory to phone them, first (Telemed model.)
  • Others specify that you must see your GP first (Hausarzt model).
  • Others specify that you can choose any doctor, on your own accord, within your canton.
  • Others specify that you can choose any doctor, on your own accord, throughout Switzerland (ganze Schweiz).

The thing to do is to read your medical insurance (Krankenkasse) policy, to see which model you bought. If you can't see that from the documentation you have, perhaps you'd like to tell us what it says, and someone here might be able to explain. Alternatively, phone your medical insurance and ask them which model you've bought, and ask them to send you the relevant rules. You can usually upgrade or downgrade to a different model at the end of the calendar year.

If you don't go through the proper procedure according to which level of insurance you've bought, you can still go directly to a specialist doctor, but then you are likely to have to cover the bill yourself.
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Old 14.02.2021, 17:55
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Re: Specialist (dermatologist) consultations

In my experience, regardless of which insurance I have had here, I was able to get into a specialist much more quickly with a referral from my GP than without. The so-called vitamin B in Switzerland is handy.

The GP is usually kept in the loop anyway via reports, etc. so it makes sense to start with them, imo.
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Old 14.02.2021, 17:59
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Re: Specialist (dermatologist) consultations

I think for dermatologists the rules are a bit different than for other specialists, as people might self-refer to a dermatologist for cosmetic reasons that would not be covered under standard health insurance.

I have expensive all-the-bells-and whistles insurance that allows me to self-refer to any specialist without needing to see a GP or call a hotline. However, a few years ago when I had a suspicious growth on my upper lip my GP still had to fill out a form stating that I was being referred to the dermatologist for medical reasons, and once at the dermatologist's office I had to submit this paperwork so my insurance would cover the visit. The staff explained that without this attestation my insurer would likely decline to pay their invoice. This has never been the case for me seeing other specialists.

I would strongly suggest the OP confirm with their health insurance not just if they can self-refer to any specialist, but if they can self-refer to a dermatologist. As I mentioned above, I think the rules for dermatology are different than other fields, and insurance will only pay if they have proof that the consultation was for a valid medical reason and not just e.g. wanting to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles around the eye.

Last edited by Bossa Nova; 14.02.2021 at 18:12.
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