Waiting in the waiting room – A visit to doctor’s office

My daughters and I had our first visit to the doctor’s office in Tervuren, Belgium yesterday. Good thing the doctor is within walking distance, very close to my daughter’s school. Here (or at least with this doctor) you don’t need any appointment. Just show up at his door whenever you are sick and need some treatment. Ofcourse it has to be within his working hours…very convenient I thought.
When we got inside his office, I thought I would at least see a receptionist/clark/cashier…something. But here the doctor does everything all by himself. No need to carry your insurance card all the time. You just pay a small amount of cash (23 euros in our case), get a receipt and that’s it. Ofcourse we will file all the claims every few months to our insurance company for reimbusement.
Back in the states I always thought going to a doc’s office is a big deal. First you have to find a doctor within your network (depending on your insurance benefit), then you have to show up 5/10 minutes early, depending on the paperworks, bunch of forms that you have to fill out before you get the treatments, then stand in the line with your insurance card, pay the co-payment, sometimes doctor’s office will bill you if any portion of the claim wasn’t paid by the insurance company. Not to mention, you are never call inside the office right when you have the appointment time (never understood, why do they give us appoinments if they can’t keep it). But I thought in Belgium (or may be all over Europe) going to a docter is very hassel free and rather an easy process. Even though there is no appointment system, usually you will get to see the doctor within 30 minutes (usually a lot less) of your arrival. Another good thing is that same doctor will see our whole family…yeppie. No need to find multiple docters within our network. Never enjoyed going to a doctor before… 🙂

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tithi
    Oct 27, 2011 @ 05:47:36

    Now you see how disorganized the US health system is. Everyone only sees the success stories of the accomplishments of treatments and ‘this and that’ new stuff they come up with. But for regular times we just want basic care and that is pretty screwed up here. Its all because of the multi-level players within the system. But then again belgium or other european countries cater to small number of people. Try to put the whole european nations in one group and they’ll have the same problem as the US where there is state level and the national level.

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    • Globe Runner
      Oct 27, 2011 @ 17:44:09

      I knew it long time ago that the US health system is corrupted…I mean who doesn’t? But it is also true that the medical research facilities in US is one of the best. I still don’t know about corruption in European healthcare. The corruption in American health system is not because of its population or the number of states. Its because the big drug companies, health insurance companies are all owned and controlled by big people and they all want to make huge amount of money. Regular people like us can’t do anything because as you said, there are lots of multi-level players within the system.
      Here in Belgium 30% gov’t fund goes to social welfare, like medicial, unemployment, poverty. But in the states…most of our money goes to kill innocent people in other countries. Our gov’t don’t care if everyone in the country are treated equally in a doctor’s office, as long as senators, business men are getting richer and keeping other poor countries under their thumbs.

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