An ambulance will not arrive, an ultrasound will not be prescribed: 5 features of medicine in Europe

 An ambulance will not arrive, an ultrasound will not be prescribed: 5 features of medicine in Europe

European medicine is considered to be exemplary: it has innovative equipment, qualified personnel, and service at the highest level. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that there are enough problems there too. Locals are used to it, but visitors vying with each other complain about the queues, prices, bureaucracy and unprofessionalism. Let's figure out what unpleasant surprises European health care can throw.

1. Insurance is the head

In most European countries, it is impossible to get any medical services without insurance. In Austria and Germany, the amount of monthly contributions can be 15-20% of the salary. The Austrian policy covers the cost of services in public health facilities, including basic dental procedures. The Germans are forced to treat their teeth at space prices (the list of services under the policy is minimal) or pay extra for extended insurance. In Italy, annual medical care costs almost 400 EUR, but about 20 % of the costs still fall on the shoulders of patients, so each doctor's appointment costs 45–60 EUR.

In Switzerland, the amount of contributions depends on the region: it is most expensive to be treated in Basel and Geneva, but on average about 370 CHF per month is spent on insurance. At the same time, the insured pays the first 300 CHF per year on his own, and then scrupulously collects bills and certificates so that the policy reimburses subsequent expenses.

2. Making an appointment with a doctor as a quest

If in Russia, feeling unwell, a person goes to a polyclinic, then in Europe – to a general practitioner. He, as a rule, conducts a reception in a private office, and it is not so easy to get to him. In Austria, therapists are attached to certain insurance companies, so first you have to find your own, sign up (at best in a week) and sit in the waiting room for several hours. Treatment can be prescribed immediately, or they can be sent for tests (laboratories are scattered throughout the city – they take blood in one, and ultrasound is done in another) or to specialized specialists (and there are queues again). In Germany it is difficult to find a family doctor: doctors are sorely lacking, and most therapists refuse to take on new patients. Waiting for an appointment with narrow specialists (if the family doctor refers to them) sometimes drags on for several months.

Italians can’t get to specialized specialists in state institutions for half a year or longer. In private clinics, a referral from a therapist is not required, but the cost of services is two to three times higher, and an appointment is at least a week in advance.

3. Ambulance – only in case of a threat to life

Even a severe illness in Europe is not a reason to call an ambulance. She comes only if life and health are in serious danger: for example, in case of severe injuries or a suspected heart attack. The task of ambulance doctors is to provide minimal assistance and deliver the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible.

You will have to pay for an unreasonable call out of your own pocket: in Austria, such a pleasure will cost 500 EUR, in Switzerland – 700-1000 CHF. It is no wonder that Europeans prefer to get to the hospital on their own whenever possible. f550x700/5y/hj/5yhjihuf5c00g40440c04o4wc.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>

Ambulance won't arrive, ultrasound won't be ordered: 5 features of medicine in Europe


4. Medicines and examinations – when urgently needed

In many countries, insurance reimburses the cost of prescription drugs, but doctors are in no hurry to prescribe serious drugs. Italian therapists tend to limit themselves to basic drugs like ibuprofen, and chronic diseases are reluctant to confirm, so as not to issue prescriptions once again.

In the Netherlands, antibiotics are rarely prescribed, citing the risk of multiplication of resistant bacteria, but paracetamol is recommended for any reason.

Little things like a sore throat almost do not cure – they expect the body to cope on its own, but in fact they often provoke complications. CT, MRI and other examinations are prescribed only as a last resort because of their high cost. And many medicines that are familiar to visitors are not sold in pharmacies due to their unproven effectiveness. sized/f550x700/cd/02/cd02c7mpuw0gwgokckos400gs.jpg” media=”(max-width: 549px)”>

Ambulance won't arrive, ultrasound won't be ordered: 5 features of medicine in Europe


What else to read on the topic

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5. Prevention is the concern of the patient himself

On the other hand, preventive medicine in many countries is at the level: in Austria, for example, the state allocates funds for routine examinations in risk groups, and every resident of the country has the right to an annual medical examination according to the main indicators. But the Italians are surprised by the presence in Russia of annual free medical examinations: they are treated after the fact, with little or no attention paid to prevention. The Dutch try not to go to the doctor at all: instead, they take care of their health, walk a lot and ride bicycles, go in for sports, and eat right. As a result, the family doctor's offices in the Netherlands are almost always empty – for paracetamol, it's really easier to go to the pharmacy.

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