If you think that your national health service is bad – then come to Poland. It used to be the other way round – I always complained about systems abroad but the time has come to criticize the Polish one. First of all, if you are sick – know that you have to plan it. If you are very lucky (meaning that there are doctors as your relatives) you might get a quick appointment. But usually it takes time. Days for the GP (yep!) and months for any specialists. I came back from Amsterdam in June and I wanted to make an appointment. The nearest date was…. 25th October. Still two months to come:P
There are some advantages of that. It improves our (the Poles) logistic and planning skills. As you need to plan your diseases far in advance. And think forward if you will be available. Imagine a situation when I wait 4 months for an appointment and on the day I cannot go as… public transport is on strike or there are some significant changes or other things that according to Murphy’s law will surely happen. Well, I am trying to be positive thinker but on the other hand I check the construction and other works schedule in the city:P Better safe than sorry as they say;)
There is this Polish word “kombinować” which is difficult to translate as there are so many meaning and situations when you can use it. Like the Dutch word ‘gezellig’. “Kombinować” can be translated as ‘figure out how to do something’. It usually has a slightly negative meaning. Like in a sentence “I had to figure out how not to pay so much tax this year”. This word perfectly describes what we have to do in order to make an appointment or get referral to medical examination.
So we, Polish people kombinujemy a lot! We had to do that in the past due to the communism regime and we still do it due to the fact that we are used to it and because it became part of our culture:P So it should be clear now why we behave in a certain way sometimes.
One example. Because of frisbee and jogging I have some knee problems and I wanted to do the ultrasonography. Of course I need a doctor to write me the referral. And the GP cannot write it as the specialist has to do that. So I need one to get an appointment to the specialist. So having some pain now I am lucky I am not dying from pain as I need 3 months to see the orthopaedist and probably another two to make an appointment for the USG. Nice...;) Let’s hope it won’t get worst!!! Eureka! I have to call them first and arrange them at once. I can always cancel it! So this is just an example on what happens to people when they try to “kombinować” too much:P
Anyway, I am not going to write you what is wrong with me as I feel great and no examination is gonna change that. The only thing is that I was told to do the Xray of my spine: both the neck and lumbar. So I asked the GP for the referral and she looked at me with disbelief saying that I must be nuts to do it the same day. Even the same month! As this is a large portion of radiation. What’s more I do have the MRI in between so that adds and extra portion. You might soon see the glow above Krakow:P
I had much more adventures with health service recently. The previous one was not directly mine experience but I was a witness. Tuesday last week we had our Frisbee trainings. While playing ultimate two girls run into each other and hurt themselves terribly. Both were bleeding – one cut her eyebrow ridge and other one had a huge bump of a size of golf ball. It did not look good, especially when you looked at the faces of girls. So we went to a hospital. By we, apart from the two injured, I mean myself as one of the injured was my flatmate and a French guy as the other girl was his girlfriend. The nearest hospital turned out to be an internal diseases hospital ward. As you can assume doctors were not keen to look into their eyes:P So they told us to go to the one with a surgeon. It was not so close so we cycled. And I think that that was the best time to go home as when we reached the ER we spent there 4 hours before the doctor took care of them. We were sitting there four hours to get one seam and a sticking plaster.
I liked the room names: segregation and reception area.
We left the emergency after midnight. And I planned to be early at home then:P A piece of advice – if you are injured call for ambulance unless you have some spare time to wait and patience!