Thursday, June 23, 2011

When the effects of medical liability smack you in the face

Now that I've had a pregnancy in the US and in Europe and am pregnant again, it's easy to compare things.

The most glaring difference is the effects medical liability and lawsuits have had on the American system.

For example, within 48 hours of giving birth (via c-section) to Bettina, I was allowed to walk out of the hospital, get in the car with my husband driving, and go to see Bettina in the NICU in a children's hospital located about 35 minutes away. The nurses only said, "Have fun! Let us know when you are back." And when I finally left the hospital? I only signed two insurance forms.

Yea. Definitely would not happen here.

Here, you have to sign a stack of papers to leave the hospital and be discharged. You are wheeled out of the hospital. They check the carseat before you drive away.

The differences really are astonishing. And sad, when you think about why they are there.

Another difference I've recently noticed is the notorious glucose test. For those that haven't had to take this lovely test yet, you go to the lab or doctor's office and drink an extremely sugary drink- similar to orange fanta but sweeter. Then you sit for an hour and, after the hour is over, you get your blood drawn.

I didn't have to take it in Switzerland. It's mandatory in the US. When I asked the nurse at my doctor's office if I could waive it, seeing how I haven't had any problems in that department, she told me absolutely not and that my doctor's practice has kicked out patients for not complying with tests. Oh, and it shouldn't be a problem, insurance covers it.

Ooooo - kay.

I don't plan on making a stink about it but it just doesn't seem right to waste time and energy to take a test that I'm only taking because it's mandatory for everyone.

Orange drink, here I come.


Lady Muck said...

Ahhh, yes, you must be an expert on the two systems and how they compare. So do you miss Dr Urs? He's still there doing his thing, being suave in his mint-condition 1970's office with the gorgeous nurses :)

Swiss Family Holiday said...

really enjoyed taking a few minutes to read your blog :)