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Old 26.04.2021, 00:16
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Second [medical] opinion

Hi,

Do you know if there are any rules regarding getting a second medical opinion?

I have the standard insurance (not private or semi-private) and the "free choice of doctor/direct access to specialist" model. So in theory, I could go to a different GP every time if I wanted to. But what about going to a different doctor for the same problem? Would insurance cover it?

Some background: the doctor that has seen me was a quite junior GP (Assistenzarzt) and after a repeated visit I'm not very confident in them and the suggested course of action / diagnosis. It didn't look like they listened to me that much. Therefore, I would like to get a second opinion from someone else, preferrably more experienced.

Has anyone gone through this? I would imagine this should be covered/normal thing? Sure, doctors stand by each other and noone likes it when their professionalism is called into question, but this is my health at the end of the day. I guess I will have to tell the other doctor about the fact that it is a second opinion, somehow diplomatically. Do doctors here have access to your previous visits (assuming it is a different clinic/network) or is e-health not that advanced in Switzerland yet?

Cheers
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Old 26.04.2021, 01:05
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Re: Second opinion

There is no problem in getting a second opinion, the insurance will cover it.

However you will pay up to your deductible plus 10% up to CHF 700 after your deductible has been reached.

https://www.ch.ch/en/basic-health-insurance-services/

A different health provider will have no access to your journals or previous visits to other doctors unless they request that information from you.
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Old 26.04.2021, 04:58
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Re: Second opinion

Once I even got a letter from insurance encourage me to have second opinions. If I remember correctly, it was around the time of a planned surgery.
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Old 26.04.2021, 08:06
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Re: Second opinion

Thank you both for the replies. Yes, I realize that costs are up to the deductible + 10% up to 700CHF p.a - but that goes for any doctor visit, so that's fine.
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Old 26.04.2021, 22:49
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Re: Second opinion

No a second opinion does not need to be covered by your basic insurance (however, many insurers will allow you to get one but you should check first).
https://www.srf.ch/sendungen/puls/ve...ung-ist-besser
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Old 27.04.2021, 23:28
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Re: Second opinion

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A different health provider will have no access to your journals or previous visits to other doctors unless they request that information from you.
This is correct. It also generates needless costs and needless repeat exams up to and including MRIs and other similarly expensive stuff. I‘ve come to refuse second opinions flat out unless provided with records first. Records, not „they did a scan and it was fine“ (since the patient can’t judge whether the scan was of sufficient quality and looked at all the right places, and/or if contrast was necessary, and so forth). If the patient is open about it and the request seems anywhere close to reasonable: no problem. Given a patient’s permission, transferring records is easy. Without it, it’s illegal.

If that junior doc recommended an operation and you‘re skeptical, your insurance would probably welcome a second opinion. In any case, it might be a good idea to call them and ask.
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