Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Is this going to make you uncomfortable?

When I moved to Sweden, I was intrigued and, well, relieved by the fact that I will have my medical insurance covered. I am definitely not one of those American's that really gives a damn about 'picking my doctor' or any other nonsense caused by fear mongering in the media about health reform. Actually, I had to go without health insurance while I was home for 6 months. I felt very fortunate that nothing disastrous happened. (and if anyone was interested I should of had health insurance, but my biological father dropped me and the magic age of 23 got me kicked off of Tricare). My option was paying several thousand dollars in "necessary" testing (to make sure I don't have any pre-existing conditions, etc) and premiums, to just pay an insane amount monthly just to pay 25 dollars at the doctors instead of 50. Also to protect me if I go to the hospital, etc. Or just going without and hoping for the best. The point with moving home was to save money, not give it all to Humana, who also has very poor practices when it comes to employee treatment and loyalty and they don't deserve anyone's money.

Anyways- back to the point.

This Monday I had to go to the women's clinic to take care of a prescription. In Linköping, the way the clinic works is that you call an automated number, leave your number, and they call you back. Well let's just say this was hysterical because I didn't understand anything on the phone message. (Oh the joys of a language barrier. I'm getting better though, I swear!). So I had to text Fredrik to call them and leave my number. Not a huge deal. No joke, within 10 minutes of me texting Fredrik, I received the call from the clinic! She spoke a little english and I told her what I needed, she said she would look up an appointment for me. After a not-sooo-awkward silence, she said, "Well, can you come in at 4pm today?" Me, "Yeah, sure!" Her, "Well, you can come in earlier if you want, 1 or 2 pm good?" Me, "Can I come at 2?" Her, "Yes of course. You'll be meeting with B.F. and she speaks English really well."

I came in early to fill out paper work (10 points to me for being able to fill out basically everything on the paper...all regarding health questions, etc). And around 1:45 B.F. came up to me and asked if I was her 2 o'clock, and then proceeded to let me know she was running a little late, but that she will be with me as soon as she can. I'm used to waiting in Doctor's offices, that's just sort of protocol. I also worked at an Audiologist, and I've seen people wait for a loooong time (though it was their own fault because they failed to bring in their referrals). So I was just prepared for it to take a while, and it didn't. Quater past 2 she came and got me.

B.F. is not a 'doctor'. She's a mid-wife. I thought this was extremely cool. This appointment was very casual, and she was extremely nice. She looked at my information and filled everything out. It was very personal and very comfortable. I didn't have to do any tests or anything, and she filled out the prescription on her computer. She said that the prescription was at Apoteket and that since they had just moved into their facility today she suggested I wait until this evening or tomorrow to pick up my prescription. I did not pay a dime. That visit qualified for a free visit. Wee!

Easy. It was the easiest thing, ever. The facilities were brand new, so everything was clean and bright. All the women were mid-wives (and I guess some nurses?) working there. This just really appeals to me. It was a facility for women, by women, and was next to the main health center. It was well run, even for the "just moved in today" learning curve.

I got my prescription yesterday, and it was also ridiculously easy. The pharmacists sit in little, like, bank like, cubicle thingys, with little seats for you. And they chat with you while they get your things. Super easy. All I had to do was how her my ID card and she got my prescription. How easy is that? She also signed me up for this program that is associated with only paying 900:- for my prescriptions and anything after that is either discounted or free. I'm not to sure, but whatevs.

I paid (really inexpensive as well) and left.

As I was leaving, I was wondering to myself why people at home are so scared of this? There was nothing scary about this, nor did I ever feel I was out of my control. And I do think that if I wanted to meet with B.F. again, I could, and I will request her next time I have to go in. She was super nice. All in all, it was a great experience. YAY!
<3 <3


Anonymous said...

Welcome to almost the best health care system in the world.

Not like the crap you have in America :D

Anonymous said...

It's so awesome reading about our country from an american's eyes. I guess we're a little spoiled. We're very quick to hate the system when we don't get the anwsers we want from our doctors. And I always expect to get anwsers I don't want when I go to the doctor, it's scary, so I just don't go - even if I know I should. But I shall think of this post the next time I do! Might make it less scary to look at it your way. ^^

Abby said...

Anon- I know right? We have such amazing things going on at home, health wise. I come from a city that is really big in the health industry (heart transplants, hand transplants, etc etc, innovation, new technology, etc), but I really do think Insurance companies are the devil. What little happened with Obama was at least a small step in the right direction, but, the drive for profit and wealth over power common sense. (Like, you would still be making some money if you allowed a 24 year old dependent on their parents insurance) Doesn't make sense.

Let's just say, so far, I'm pleased. :)

Fuchsia- I would wager you guys are spoiled rotten :), if you had to experience what it's like to go to the doctor's at home, you would probably walk out livid. Usually going to the doctor at home requires a co-pay, filling out forms over and over again, waiting 15-30 minutes past your 'appointment' time, going back, with the nurse, vitals, sitting in the waiting room for another 10 minutes, doctor in 10 minutes, leaves 5 minutes, etc etc. Until the process is done. Doctors can also be very very very quick to throw a prescription your way. Which is just unnecessary, and anti-health in my opinion. And it can be hit or miss with how interested the doctors are in you, and how personable they are.

So yes, so far I'm pleased with the way Sweden does their health system, so far. But I haven't been sick yet. So we'll see. :) I'm glad you're enjoying my opinions. :)

Minda said...

Let's do the numbers American style. WTF is 900:-? LOL. In "American" is it $9.00 or $900.00??? And for those other commenters - I live in the U.S. still and I have Crohn's disease (gross)I DO NOT get to pick my doctor (that's a big fat lie the insurance companies like to throw out there). You get to "pick" your doctor based on what insurance plan you can afford or are allowed to have. You have to pick someone from your "network". And right now, my insurance pays nothing. My husband and I pay something like $100 a month (or more, not positive) to the insurance company just so we can pay everything out of pocket until we've spent $7,000 of our own money. We both have pre-existing conditions - my Crohn's, his blood pressure (p.s. I'm 25 and he is 27)- if we both didn't have pre-existing conditions that premium would never be met and we would be paying for insurance we never get to use. There are many, many, many other things that suck about insurance here that I won't go into but that is just to give a little perspective. It doesn't make ANY sense that people care so much here about making healthcare universal because we don't have the freedom to choose anything as it is . . . we just pay a TON for exactly what they are saying they don't want. Basically, they're ignorant. And did I mention that we are both government employees so we get the best options available? Also, Abby . . . I apologize for Bogarting your blog. I loved it.

Abby said...

BAHAHAHHAA melinda, I'm sorry. 900:- is 900 kronor. To know how much that is in US dollars multiply by .138 which equals $124.20, so after I spend that much money on medicine the government pays for the rest. At least that is what Fredrik told me.

I know you're seething right now. Sorry! :)

And if you had to bogart my blog, at least you could have Humphrey Bogarted it. BAR HAR HAR HAR (I'm making fun of you for capitalizing Bogart in your post, btw).


Minda said...

LOL. You are hilarious. :) Yes I was seething about healthcare. I'm passionate about it. Passionately pissed off! Yeah . . . you spend $124.20 and everything is awesome. I have to spend $7,000 plus $100 a month. LAME SAUCE.

I know it is technically incorrect to capitalize Bogart in that context BUT the reason I do it is because he should be credited considering that is where the term came from. Way back in his first movie he played the sidekick part and "Bogarted" the entire movie to the point that he never played a supporting character again. He was destined to be a leading man. :) So anyway, I was Humphrey Bogarting it. :) And I'm really glad I did because I got an awesome new reader for my own!!!