Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Medical Scare...

I am sure you have had one or two medical scares in your life. I hate going to the doctor to begin with. I think it sucks even worse in the US. In Germany, at least, they always treated me with respect when entering a doctor's office. Here the first question has always been: Do you have insurance? Or even worse: Hand over the money, now! That's what happened to me at the dental surgeon's office this week. Despite having dental insurance (lucky me!) I had to hand over a check over $65 before they would even look at me. After they had my check and a copy of my insurance card, I still got handed a stack of forms asking me the same question (Who will pay for this? Wait, didn't I just pay for this consult?) about six million times.

Let me tell you folks, there is a lot to be said for the German system and National healthcare. In Germany you can get in with any doctor if you need to. Sometimes that may mean sitting in their office for a few hours and waiting for an opening. Hey, I have done that here when I had an appointment. But if you need to see a doctor in Germany they will see you if you are willing to wait. In the US there is the calling up and them telling you:
"Oh, it will be 5 weeks until doctor soandso can see you." I just can't shake the feeling that doctoring in this nation is all about cold hard cash - or the fear of not getting it. Forgive my language, but it's all screwed up.

But let me start at the beginning. My medical scare started at the dentist's office last week when I went for a regular check-up and routine cleaning. Of all doctors, I fear the dentist most. Unfortunately I have been blessed with terrible enamel and I have to go to the dentist on a regular basis. Sigh! During this last check-up my dentist found this little mass or lump on the inside of my cheek. I thought it was just a cankersore that never healed up. But my dentist didn't and gave me this weird-scare-me-to-death-look. So I decided to go see the other guy - dental surgeon - for an opinion. You know, at the other place where I had to hand over the check.

Silly me. I felt like I had won the lottery because somebody happened to cancel their appointment because of blizzard conditions out East. Yay, lucky me again. So in this photo you can see me sitting in the lovely yellow chair anticipating my demise. Well, the guy turned out to be really nice. He thinks it's nothing serious. He'll cut this weird little bump out next week. Better sell me some dollies to pay for that mess.

But honestly people - if you knew what it's like to be living in a different place where you don't have to deal with the money stress on top of the medical scare stress you would all vote to have every single person  insured in this country. It's just more civilized.


Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Sounds like a good system in Germany. I'm always worried when the bills for healthcare arrive in the mail because of the high deductibles.

Each visit, procedure, test, etc. has to be considered if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary...otherwise, it needs to wait. It's a backwards health system and coverage, to say the least.

Hope your procedure goes well and recovery is speedy!

germandolls said...

I know it's so weird how the people who actually do have insurance don't ever go because we still have to pay so much for every visit. Why? Because we are already paying for all the people who are not covered. What people don't get here, you may be healthy as can be. They say: Why should I buy insurance I never get sick. Keep it real, people! it's just a matter of time. One day YOU will get sick and then someone has to pay for it.