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A doctor rant

About trying to get through to them!

Solith
post 27.Feb.2013, 10:18 AM
Post #1
Location: Uppsala
Joined: 9.Jul.2006

I live in Uppsala - the studentcentral of Sweden, bar Lund, and full of international students who don't speak Swedish. Now whilst my Swedish isn't great it's quite easy for me to have face to face conversations around a variety of subjects and in recent months I have been very happy with the results of speaking to my midwife in Swedish about medical stuff.

However, now the time arises when I would like to see a doctor. Nothing huge, just a mole that's changing shape and colour in various interesting and worrying ways.

So I get on my vårdcentrals webpage and find out I can book online to see them. Excellent. I type in the details, click send and expect a reply with 4 days with the time they can give me. Nope, I get "please give more details so we can decide who should see you - please call us on XXX-XX XX XX." Ok, simple enough.

Oh no.

Firstly, the telephone system (after taking me through 3 automated queue directions) announces that they're closed for the afternoon despite the email message and website stating phone lines are open for another 3 hours.

This morning I try again.

"Please leave your telephone number and personal number and we'll get back to you. Is 13:10 ok?" No, I'm going to be in a meeting. "Please enter 4 digits for a choice of time." 1100. "13:10 is available." Followed by some unintelligible waffle.

I have no idea if I've accidentally booked a telephone callback or an appointment, or if I'll get billed.

I've cheated and tried to book through the website again with an explanation of my lack of fluency in Swedish.

Why oh why can't I just pick up the phone and speak to a real person, or even just an answering machine?! Why make it so complicated and inaccessible? I pay a lot of tax and will pay for the eventual appointment, not to mention any appointments I don't know I've booked, so why the automated complication?
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PDX
post 27.Feb.2013, 10:29 AM
Post #2
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Aug.2011

QUOTE (Solith @ 27.Feb.2013, 11:18 AM) *
I pay a lot of tax

So do many claim on this forum when ranting about this or the other. I suspect, however, that you do not pay much tax at all. If you did, you would head straight for a private clinic that would be more than happy to provide you with excellent service.

For example this one:
http://hudklinikenostermalm.se/behandlinga...siktsbehandling

~~~PDX~~~
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Solith
post 27.Feb.2013, 10:39 AM
Post #3
Location: Uppsala
Joined: 9.Jul.2006

How much tax should one be paying to access the Swedish healthcare system? I'm employed here full time, pay tax on my earnings at the same rate as everyone else and on all my purchases. My Swedish ECIH card suggests I pay enough...

EDIT: And I want an actual doctor, or to be referred to a dermatologist, not some cosmetic shit.
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PDX
post 27.Feb.2013, 10:43 AM
Post #4
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 2.Aug.2011

You got this totally wrong. We who do pay a lot of tax pay it so that those who don't can have the public services. We do not use these same services as we have the private clinics that we can afford.

The private skin clinic does do medical treatments (in addition to the cosmetologist services), look further down on the page. They will do a really thorough analysis of your skin and possible tumors, whereas the vårdcentral will likely tell you it's nothing to worry about. Trust me on this one. It's a complex matter and you really would rather go to a specialist clinic directly.

Yes, it will cost you a few thousand, but it's your skin after all. Your choice.

~~~PDX~~~
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Solith
post 27.Feb.2013, 10:54 AM
Post #5
Location: Uppsala
Joined: 9.Jul.2006

Aha, gotcha wink.gif

The thing is that I'm not exactly a millionaire here and since my use of the welfare system (no kids, single, relatively healthy) is so small I feel that paying for private care kind of defeats the point of paying the tax in the first place.

It's just so frustrating. I know as soon as I can speak to a real person I can be sitting down with a doctor and discussing it (and other unrelated concerns), but there's just this big barrier in the way.

How do the tax-dodging ones get access to the public services then?!
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Max Reaver
post 27.Feb.2013, 11:02 AM
Post #6
Joined: 26.May.2011

You are from Uppsala? Cool, I lived there too when I went to uni. Anyway, you can go to the local vårdcentral and book time with their doctor at the reception. When I lived in Flogsta, the vårdcentral there always let a nurse check you first. you could do a drop-in with nurses if it doesn't involve a real doctor. From there the nurse will tell you if it's worth seeing a doctor for your condition, although they never stop you from doing that if you really demand it.

For some conditions you can discuss with doctor on the phone, so they will book a slot for you at the big hospital that has more equipment than the vårdcentral. A guy I knew had some minor hemorrhoid problem, wasn't a big deal but he was incredibly worried so the doctor sent him for a rectal scope over a telephone appointment.

The online-booking service, I found it to be a joke. And with the phone booking, you must be a bit unlucky. Usually the time they suggest worked for me. Could be because I worked in a lab, less meetings and more flexibility tongue.gif
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Solith
post 27.Feb.2013, 11:26 AM
Post #7
Location: Uppsala
Joined: 9.Jul.2006

Apparently there's no drop-in at this one (wtf, they all have them!).

At the moment I'm not too flexible because I have both teaching and classes to attend myself. Slightly ironically I chose this vårdcentral because it was the highest rated for access. Ha!

Apparently they are going to call me, but sods law states it will be during my meeting.
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Beavis
post 27.Feb.2013, 01:48 PM
Post #8
Joined: 2.Mar.2008

best to aviod vårdcentral altogether, their usual answer is to "try this" and "wait and see". If we had listened to their advice out daughter could have had a very serious problem and possibly died. I cant stress enough how useless most of the people working there are. You just dont "wait and see" with a 6 month old baby with a 42 degree tremperature and wont eat or drink, as they suggested. We went straight to the hospital and ignored their advice.
So if its something potentially dangerous or your very concerned go straight to the hospital.
If its something else book a private doctor. It cost the same but most Swedes dont use them due to years of red party brainwashing.
Youll also find the waiting time is far less and the people w oanswer the phone more helpful and the doctors more qualified.
Avoid vårdcentral if you value your health (unless your are extemely lucky and have one of the few good ones)
Ive yet to find anyone at a priave doctors who doesnt speak immaculate English.. which is more than I can say for the vårdstupidity
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what would thomas paine d...
post 27.Feb.2013, 02:27 PM
Post #9
Joined: 15.Oct.2012

I'm sorry to say that I still have nightmares about my experiences within Swedish "healthcare."

It doesn't matter what you pay. The state decides your rations, period. I understand it's extremely frustrating and unjust, to say the least. And when you are well, you can and should fight the injustices of the system.

In the meantime though, work to accept that the system is extremely unjust, and search out private care - within Sweden or a more medically advanced country even. You may very well have to pay again for services you already paid for -but that's the rotten truth. Many, many of us have been there.

I'm not educated or certified to give medical advice, but as a layperson, I would just say that stress is extremely hard on our bodies. Meditate (I've just started learning about transcendental meditation - TM -, specifically), go for a peaceful walk, listen to favorite music, read a favorite book/poem, listen to favorite music, etc. Keep your mind in a calm place. smile.gif

So - 1) private doctor 2) peace of mind 3) come back strong and healthy and use what you've learned to help others.

Best wishes!
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Solith
post 27.Feb.2013, 04:35 PM
Post #10
Location: Uppsala
Joined: 9.Jul.2006

Exactly as predicted:

"We don't deal with that here, you need to book elsewhere. Bye!"
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what would thomas paine d...
post 27.Feb.2013, 05:49 PM
Post #11
Joined: 15.Oct.2012

Some ideas:

Find a private doctor - put it on a credit card if you have to.

OR to fight with the tax-funded clinics, try emailing someone from the Uppsala patientnämnd [patientnamnden@lul.se] and ask nicely smile.gif if they would please help you get an appointment, explaining that you've tried yourself but have not been able to contact anyone.

OR what about the Uppsala church or some other religious group? I'm sure different religious organizations have people who would gladly, kindly help - you don't have to convert or be part of their group to ask for and receive help. smile.gif
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