Health care is still a popular subject of debate in the United States. I want my family and friends there to have the best health care possible.
I have experienced both the Greek system and that in the USA. The two systems are similar except for one very important difference: without the demands of the profit driven health insurance companies the paperwork is almost nonexistent.
My family and I have good health insurance coverage in Greece. My husband works at a university so we are all on his health insurance plan. A certain amount is taken out of his salary each month to cover our amount of copayment for health insurance.
In the USA he also worked at a university and we paid for the most expensive health insurance. A portion of his salary was deducted from his salary. We purchased what was considered the best health insurance offered, Blue Cross Blue Shield. Unfortunately, when we needed to use the health insurance I had to spend hours communicating with representatives of Blue Cross Blue Shield and so did my doctors in order to get the care needed.
In Greece we have no doubt that when we become sick our doctors will see us, regard our problem seriously and do everything they can to help us recover. We can use our health books to get care anywhere.
In The States we lived in a rural area. We knew when we were sick it was highly unlikely the doctor would be able to help us or even pretend to take our ailment seriously. When surgery was necessary we knew we were in for a fight with Blue Cross Blue Shield and no matter how awful we felt due to our illness; we were in for a long term struggle to force the health care system to help us recover.
In the USA we had the good luck to meet enough caring and serious doctors we could find our way to passably good health. Unfortunately most of the doctors were not helpful and often they were insulting.
You can see in the photo all my personal medical records spread out . In Greece patients are responsible for their own records. Doctors go through the results of a blood test or other test with patients. If for some reason you need help but your personal doctor is unavailable, your pharmacist will help you.
Most of our doctors and our pharmacists have studied in northern Italy. They understand the importance of diagnosis and using the proper pharmaceutical to relieve health problems.
The doctors here are very interested in preventive care. For example, my radiologist has the most technologically advanced instrumentation available in the world. Each year she gives me my mammogram, osteoporosis test as well as other necessary tests such as artery blood flow.
When I go to my General Practitioner and other doctors I carry my records in a folder and the two books you see on top of my records. The smaller book is the book in which the doctors describe the office visit. At the end of the office visit I sign the page, they keep the white page so they can be reimbursed from insurance. The yellow copy underneath remains in my health book. In this way are able to have a record of date of last office visit and any notes that have been included.
The larger rectangular book is where the doctors write prescriptions. The pharmacy keeps the white copy and the yellow copy remains in the book.
There are no secrets. Doctors and pharmacists can refer to these two health books for records of the patient’s history.