At 4 a.m. this morning, my future brother-in-law took himself to the hospital because he felt extremely ill. He errs on the side of safety because he’s barely 30, past scans detected a heart irregularity, and my future mother-in-law had a quadruple angioplasty last year. Heart disease is genetic. Add to this he smokes like a chimney, doesn’t exercise and eats poorly.
He has IKA, which entitles him to seek free health care in a state hospital, but decided to go to a private hospital in Athens at which he previously had a good experience. It claims to be associated with an Ivy League medical school.
With his medical history, he believed it was best to pay out of pocket and enjoy a higher standard of care with immediate attention, rather than wait hours at a state hospital that may not have a specialist on call.
The doctor performed a heart scan, which came back with poor results, so he did another and got the same results. Feeling alarmed and panicked by what he saw, he went ahead and told my future brother-in-law to have bloodwork and other tests run. Two hours later, all of these tests came back normal.
Baffled by this contradiction, he did another heart scan. This time it was OK. The doctor does another. Now it’s not OK! He does another. It’s not OK.
Finally it was revealed that the heart scanner is malfunctioning and needs maintenance.
There’s nothing like a little unnecessary stress from your heart doctor to aggravate a heart condition. At least he didn’t have to pay…well, not in euros, anyway.
In the News
“Whistleblower jailed over bribes to Greek physicians” — Independent
“Surgery done on wrong foot” — Eleftherotypia
“Health system reflects Greece’s ills” — WSJ
“Greeks seeking healthcare with envelopes of cash (fakelakia)” — Forbes
Photo from cityofpuyallup.org
* Although I also had a poor experience with the hospital in this post, I cannot give its name for legal reasons. Readers are encouraged to share stories without direct references to the medical facility.