On your bike, sister! (If only I weren't so dizzy). Photo taken earlier this month in Edam, the Netherlands.
This morning I had a long-awaited appointment with a neurologist about dizzy spells that have persisted for nearly two months. But I was turned away from the clinic, despite having proof of insurance, a Dutch identity/residency card and Dutch bank cards.
Why? In a year-and-a-half in the Netherlands, I've seen other specialists and had tests at a major hospital without any problems. But this neurology department was located at a small regional clinic, linked to a hospital in another city. Supposedly, as I wasn't registered at that hospital (having been referred directly to the neurologist by a doctor, rather than hospital staff), the clinic couldn't accept payment. And because they were unaccustomed to dealing with insurance other than Dutch, they failed to cope.
My third conversation on the subject was with an administrative assistant:
AA: "I showed the doctor your insurance information and he won't be able to see you today."
Me: "Why not? I have an appointment and we've driven all this way."
AA: "Well, you can make an appointment for next week."
Me: "I've already waited two weeks for this appointment."
AA: "You can come back next week."
Me: "Why? I'm here now and have an appointment confirmation letter from your office!"
AA: "Well, I asked the doctor, who said it's too big of a risk."
Me, incredulous: "That's ridiculous! So the neurologist is saying a minor administrative issue is more important than my health?"
AA, nodding: "I know, but I can make an appointment for you next week."
Me: "No, thank you. I'll see another doctor, who's actually concerned about health."
And I walked away - and phoned a doctor in Paris and booked an appointment.
We love living in the Netherlands. Mais oui, we miss the food and the world's best medical care in France.
And Dr. A.J. Prazsky, neurologist, I hope never to meet you, since you're apparently more concerned about bureaucracy than a patient's health!