Today I'm sharing another personal experience, unfortunately Germany's healthcare system will not fare well this time, but let's start from the beginning.
Appointment hard to get
At the beginning of June 2023, I tried to get an appointment with the specialist, with my orthopedist, where I have been a patient for several years, this time with knee problems. As it happens, you try to get an appointment with the doctor, and because I am very busy and can not just drive there, which is a use of time and diesel, I called there, but, and every German citizen will agree with me, you often reach no one there. Either no one answers or the line is busy for an eternity and you are not connected.
Since I myself am an entrepreneur, have a lot of work and still have other jobs to do that prevent me from spending all day calling a doctor that a nurse from the registration takes my call, I called my health insurance and asked if they can organize me an appointment, is not that I pay 200€ every month for it and that can not be possible.
1 day later the feedback, the doctor's office rejects the appointment service of the health insurance, patients should call/personally contact the doctor's office. They tried to call 6 times until they got through, according to the employee on the phone.
Service desert Germany
Now, one could say that there are certainly reasons for patients to call themselves, but I wonder what those reasons are, which are mysterious to me?
Because I don't have time as a business owner or any other worker who have to work 8 hours and rarely get off work before 3pm, then still lucky to reach the doctor's office when it also already closes.
Service looks different. And that has nothing to do with data protection.
Here are my reasons why health insurance appointment services are important:
Many people have to work and do not have the time to wait for the line to be free and the receptionist is not just getting a coffee or is on the toilet, so the health insurance company can make an appointment and tell the patient when the appointment is, who is happy if there is an appointment at all.
People can already indicate to the health insurance company which appointment, period and times they would like, so an appointment can take place when you as a patient can arrange it in terms of time
- No recall, One thing that bothers me, especially with the doctors' offices, is that they don't call you back. I mean, every other company calls back when they get a call, it could be that I have a package or a delivery, etc. No, there is no call back and that's part of the problem, medical practices should also adhere to this social convention and call back. I'm sure there are some that do, in my case, it is not practiced. The appointment service gets back to me when you get an appointment organized
Stand today, where this article was published, so 4 weeks since I got the feedback from the health insurance that this can not arrange the appointment, in the meantime there were then also again 3-5 days practice vacation, of course nowhere announced, I have reached 2 days ago finally someone on the phone, one has me then still cheekily hung up the phone, because I asked why now the appointment service is rejected, one told me that one is understaffed and that does not make. The end. I hung up. After 6 more attempts of continuous calling, the same nurse from the registration desk picked up the phone and I took the appointment she gave me. August 29, 2023. pain patient? Never mind, I should go to the hospital then.
Well, I'm waiting 2 months for a doctor to take a look at my knee.
Ultimately, however, I stay with this orthopedist because he knows my medical history and he is a very good doctor, it's just a shame that the practice reputation is ruined by such behavior of the nurse for registration.
Perhaps the German health minister Lauterbach should rather solve such problems to improve conditions for patients instead of talking about Heat lockdowns at over 30°C to think about….