I would not say I am very knowledgeable about the American or German healthcare system. I read the news about the problems America faces and I hear a lot of complaints but personally, I have never had a problem in the USA. I have always had great insurance and I have never had to deal with everything on my own. The same goes for Germany, my health insurance is great and I have had very little interaction with the system. So for these reasons, and just because it is boring to complain, I am going to stay far away from the major healthcare things and just talk about a few small differences I find very funny or strange.
|The ever-stylish paper gown|
1) The gown. In the USA you wear a gown every time you go to the doctors. It does not matter the real. Got the flu? Put on a gown! Hurt your knee? Put on a gown! Imagine my surprise when I went to the doctor in Germany and there was no gown in site. Luckily, my German half was with me and so I only embarrassed myself asking him where the gown with (which I got a, what are you talking about?!?! You aren't getting surgery!) and did not ask the doctor.
For the Americans out there...you may ask how they check you with no gown. Turns out they just look at you and don't really touch you at all and if they need to get to your back they just pull up the back of your shirt. A time saver for sure but I wouldn't say you really feel like you get your money worth.
2) Overall checkup. In the USA you get weighed, measured (no I have not grown in the past 10 years but they still check my height every time I go), blood pressure and temperature. Germany does not do this. When I asked him why they did not check my weight he said that it was none of the doctor's business. Weight is too private for the doctor?? What?? I was really shocked that I did not even get my temperature taken when I was there for the flu but I guess they find it all needless. You know that you are sick so what will a temperature tell you? Another time saver and I am sure a money saver for the doctor but I wanted some hands on help that made me feel like my 45 minute wait was worth it.
|America loves to write all over prescription bottles|
3) Prescriptions. In the USA prescriptions are considered pretty sacred. Your doctor calls in your prescription, you pick it up, it has a label on it screaming that it is only for one certain person for a certain amount of time. In Germany they seem to be much more relaxed and trusting. Both times I got prescriptions is was written down and handed to me, I didn't even go pick it up he did but there was no problem with that, and the bottle had no type of label. It did not say who the medicine was for, what dates it was for, or which doctor prescribed it. This system works for me but the difference to America is interesting.
Have you had healthcare experience in a country outside your own? What was it like?