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Old 22.10.2019, 20:12
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Telephone medicine in English?

Hello EF,

Does anyone have experience using an insurance company's tele-medicine number in English? How was your experience and who was your insurer? I read on the forum that Swica offers just about everything in English, but there was no specific information regarding tele-medicine. For clarity, I'm talking about the service where one calls, describes the medical problem, and receives some preliminary medical advice that might or might not include a referral to a doctor.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 23.10.2019, 01:45
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

Swica provides support in English by selecting the language option when you call the main number. If after your initial discussion it is necessary to speak to a doctor, one will call you back , usually quite quickly, and speak English with you.

As for referrals, they offer this as well but sometimes they are not sure if the doctor speaks English.
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Old 23.10.2019, 01:59
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

I'd be very surprised if there were any doctors in Switzerland who don't speak English at least to the level required to communicate satisfactorily with patients. A lot of their reading, required to stay current, is in English; by necessity, doctors have to have a reasonable grasp of the language.

That's not to say that some doctors may pretend not to understand English, refusing point blank to speak it, of course.
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Old 23.10.2019, 08:34
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

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I'd be very surprised if there were any doctors in Switzerland who don't speak English at least to the level required to communicate satisfactorily with patients. A lot of their reading, required to stay current, is in English; by necessity, doctors have to have a reasonable grasp of the language.

That's not to say that some doctors may pretend not to understand English, refusing point blank to speak it, of course.
In my experience, many doctors do not speak English. Of those that do, they are not always willing to or tell me that because I have been living here so long I should speak German. My reply to this is that I can speak German but I did not study medical terminology in German. Sometimes it can be a challenge to understand medical issues in English!
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Old 23.10.2019, 10:45
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

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I'd be very surprised if there were any doctors in Switzerland who don't speak English at least to the level required to communicate satisfactorily with patients. A lot of their reading, required to stay current, is in English; by necessity, doctors have to have a reasonable grasp of the language.
You’ve not lived in Romandie have you? There are many doctors here who have a rudimentary level of English at best.
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Old 23.10.2019, 11:04
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

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You’ve not lived in Romandie have you? There are many doctors here who have a rudimentary level of English at best.
Closer to Geneva it is much easier to find one prepared to give consultations in English. I always ask first.

But very few in the secretariat are willing to do so.
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Old 23.10.2019, 11:09
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

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You’ve not lived in Romandie have you? There are many doctors here who have a rudimentary level of English at best.
Actually, I have, and I've visited doctors there. I think every one of them claimed not to speak English. Although I do speak some French, it's not at the level required to discuss medical issues, so I usually stated that I didn't speak French. Quelle surprise, in every case it turned out that the doctors did speak reasonable English, quite sufficient for the job at hand.

It's not just in Romandie, either.
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Old 23.10.2019, 11:19
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

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Closer to Geneva it is much easier to find one prepared to give consultations in English. I always ask first.

But very few in the secretariat are willing to do so.
I'm not exactly a regular at medical facilities.. But never had an issue. Our generalist is english, every specialist i've been referred to spoke perfect english, the dentist is dutch and speaks perfect englsh.
No problems in the council hospital at Nyon either.

Sure I've done a few consultations in FR, some in a fun mixture of both.. But EN has always been an option.

Have you tried this website? I find it handy to make an appointment after hours.. You can also see the languages spoken.
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Old 23.10.2019, 11:22
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

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Actually, I have, and I've visited doctors there. I think every one of them claimed not to speak English. Although I do speak some French, it's not at the level required to discuss medical issues, so I usually stated that I didn't speak French. Quelle surprise, in every case it turned out that the doctors did speak reasonable English, quite sufficient for the job at hand.

It's not just in Romandie, either.
That is definitely not the case around these parts.

Not a problem for me as I speak French well enough to be able to carry out consultations in that language but it has proved to be an issue for plenty of other people here.
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Old 23.10.2019, 12:57
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

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Hello EF,

Does anyone have experience using an insurance company's tele-medicine number in English? How was your experience and who was your insurer? I read on the forum that Swica offers just about everything in English, but there was no specific information regarding tele-medicine.
The Swica telephone service is available in English. I've used it a few times.
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Old 23.10.2019, 18:00
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Re: Telephone medicine in English?

Our health insurance is with CSS. They have a service called Medgate which has different language options when you ring up. If your issue can't be dealt with by the call centre operative you are speaking to they give you a time and a doctor calls back. You can also text photos for the doc to look at first, in the early summer I suffered an insect bite to my eyelid that needed attention and I gave them a pic. I went to the walk in centre near Basel SBB railway station and after being give a prescription for cortisone cream the GP gave me a form to fill in as she said it was classed as an accident so there would be no bill.
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