Healthcare In Switerland: My Vocational Day and Lots More….

Day 12 Wednesday June 2010

Today was vocational day….I visited 3 different healthcare set ups in Lucerne….visited a private hospital St Anna which was started about 100 years ago by nun’s..about 5 years ago it was taken over by Hirslanden group  was financed by UBS and a few years back it was taken over by Medi Clinics a South Africa based healthcare group…It is a 172 bed hospital which is overlooking the lake ..a beautiful view makes it seem more like hotel than a hospital….

Had an interesting discussion with the Physical therapist there…..aparently phyical therapists are treated at par with the nursing staff in terms of pays and perks in switzerland….the lady i met was the head of the department and had a share in the profits of the hospital but the rest of them were on a fixed salary….she had done her diploma from Switzerland and a masters from Australia…hence her english was good and the interaction was useful….This hospital has an equal mix of private…semi private and basic insurance patients…

The health insurance here is extremely intersting….eveyone has a basic cover….and the prices of all services are fixed…..like for example….a 30 minute session for PT would be 48 Points…these 48 points translate to swiss franks depending on a conversion rate which is applicable for a canton…..Basel i think is i:1….Lucerne is 1:0.8….Geneva would be 1: 1.2..hence in Basel for the same service the PT would get 48 franks…in Lucernce slightly less and in Geneva slightly more….

Dentist treatment is not covered by insurance…..if you speak to the dentists….they are not too happy about it…..or atleast they like to pretend they are not too happy about it cause they have to convince the patients……unlike unsurance patients where everything is paid for….

After the first hospital I went to the private office of an General Practitioner…..the interesting part is that in some cantons GP^are allowed to sell medicine and make a profit on that…..if they sell generic medicines the overall profit to them in absolute amount is normally more and the cost to the insurance company as a whole for the drugs is less….eveyone is happy with this arrangement except the pharma company……the cantons where the doctors are not allowed to sell medicine are paid higher consultation charges

Another interesting aspect of a private practitioner is that he will send a bill to you at the end of the month and then the patient pays for it himself and later claims it from the insurance whereas if a patient goes to a hospital for OPD services…he will not have to pay from this pocket and the hospital will directly deal with the insurance company…

For lunch i went out with my host family and the doctor i was visiting….has a typical swiss dish  Alpen Macaroni sitting in the sun by the lakeAfter lunch went to the Canton hospital…..which is the government hospital…..it was nice and clean and very big with over 500 beds and 4000 people working….It not as nice as the private hospital….

There are 2  types of insurance….the basic which every swiss citizen has and it covers all medical needs but does not give the patient a choice of a doctor or treatment and a private which is over and above the basic at a premium cost…..all hospitals prefer to have patients from the private insurance^as they make more money on them…

The costs for services are fixed…eg a basic insurance would pay a hospital 800 franks a day for an in patient visit and a private insurance would pay 1000 franks…..

Overall good visits…there is a lot of difference between the healthcare systems in Switerland and India….and it seems quite perfect on the surface of it….but i am sure if you dwell more into it…you will find the loop holes…

After the visit…we went to a co team members house…and then we went for a walk to see a castle and go down the forest by the river….after this we went for a nice dinner to an exotic restaurant up on the alps with a  divine view of the mountains and three lakes and a lot of wind….we also got to see someone playing the alphorn..i tried …but could get no sound out of it at all!!

Overall a wonderful day….As usual!!!

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