I’ve been really sick the past couple of days. I guess the insane amount of traveling coupled with the crazy winter temperatures has taken a toll on me. It started off with a cold which I tried to suppress it by self-medicating (Clarinese and Actified were supposed to work). Guess, that didn’t work and I got even sicker.
If this happened in Singapore, I would have gone to the nearest clinic to seek medical attention. I would have gotten my meds; maybe some antibiotics and possibly after a day or 2 of bed rest, I would have somewhat recovered. But because I’m in Geneva where I speak absolutely no French, add to that a really bad experience the last time the Man and I got really ill from the food poisoning with no clue how to get a doctor to save our lives, I really hate to fall ill here.
You see in Geneva, I’ve been told that in order to see a doctor, you first have to make an appointment. You do not go unannounced to the clinic and ‘demand’ to see a doctor for they will just send you back. They may make an exception to see you if you are really, really sick but you still have to call and make the appointment on the very day that you wish to see a doctor. If you ask me, too much hassle and things to do just to see a doctor. This is why I often joked that I would have recovered by the time I secure the appointment to see the doctor (sometimes the wait-list could be about a week).
But the sniffles showed no signs of receding and with our impending move plus a farewell party, the Man insisted that I see a doctor fast, get the meds and recover. So off to my friend, E, I went to ask for her help. Since it was ‘sort of a medical emergency’, we decided to call a doctor to come to my place to see me instead – a house-call. The Little Style Princess helped make the call (since she could speak fluent French) and some 2 hours later, the doctor finally arrived at my place.
The diagnosis after about 3 minutes of examination? Dr A pronounced that I’m down with a cold (Duh- I knew that all along). He said it’s common for people to come down with a cold at this time of the year. He asked what meds I’ve been taking and I showed him my arsenal of meds. He then told me to continue to take my cough syrup and proceeded to write me a prescription for a nasal spray and another type of cold medication. No antibiotics was needed. Darn! I really wanted those damn antibiotics.
The bill? I’m probably gonna be slapped with an estimated CHF 200 (SG 275) medical bill for the house-call made by the doctor. Even after all that, I don’t get instant relief for the doctor doesn’t give out the medication. All he did was to write a prescription and I had to make a separate trip to the pharmacy to get the medication. Payment for the medication is separate from the doctor’s fee. If you have insurance, all these would be reimbursed by your insurance company, you just have to make sure that you keep all the receipts to file the claims.
And this sums up my experience and my not-so-stellar review of the healthcare system in Geneva. Having said that, my friend L over at the Swiss Watch Blog had a far better and positive experience of the medical system in Geneva. Read all about her experiences here and here.