View Full Version : curious..
2007 November 6th, 09:42
let's say you had a short hospital stay in france and ended up with a bill (mailed to the states months later) of ~$200 (in then dollars hah!). Due to hassle of going to a bank that would do a wire transfer, and the fact that they wouldn't take a credit card, the issue was shelved for months and months.. now a year later the "Treasurie" is asking for 1650 euro! yikes! what happened there?
Anyway, can France actually collect on a debt owed by a US citizen? I should add that they never saw my ID or passport (left it at the hotel), so they have only a name and an address. I assumed the original $200 was so low because of the good EU health coverage. Dunno why it went up so much.
2007 November 6th, 10:28
Probably increased because of the poor exchange rate, penalty for unpaid debt, interest.
I suppose they could add you to a list of undesirables who may not enter the country.
2007 November 6th, 22:21
yes but going from 165 to 1650 or so seems a bit surprising.. there was a 49 euro line item for the collection charge. I'm guessing someone misplaced a decimal.
oh well if the worst is that I can't go back to france then I guess I'm ok with that. Plenty of great places in the world :)
2007 November 6th, 22:34
how funny I left for Europe for a 5 week vacation this last July. I landed in Amsterdam with a Severe infection in my leg, I flew the next day to Hamburg and went to a clinic and they immediately transferred me into the hospital. I was there for a week, I had the now infamous Staph Aureaus Infection. Anyway they billed me at th time for $3000.
After the week I got them to release me to continue my trip but wanted me back 3 days later for a check up. When I went back they wanted me back in the hospital for surgery, I said only if you can do the surgery in the next three hours, I went in, they postponed it til 7pm, then til midnight, then told me that they couldn't do it until the next day. I walked out at 12:30am in the rain and walked back to my hotel. The billed my for like $250 for it and are still billing me.
2007 November 7th, 02:02
The moral is get a hefty medical insurance before going to Europe! Do the NHS charge US citizens? (I dont think they do - but am not sure)
2007 November 7th, 05:36
The NHS should charge.
<rant> The NHS is a disgrace. It is a failed experiment in a social health care system. The amount I pay out every month to the NHS is more than I would pay for top of the range private healthcare. Yet, when I go to hospital I have to wait hours because the staff are running late, there is blood spatter on the floor, the seats, the equipment and the BED - yes, blood on the bed. And then ti wastes money on needless tests just to meet some pointless government target.
I went to the doctor with a cough Id had for 6 weeks. I was sent away with an inhaler for asthma, and told to have an Xray for tuberculosis, and return in a week if the cough hadn't gone.
Both asthma and tuberculosis are being under-diagnosed, according to the government, so doctors have to diagnose it...
Two weeks later I returned, waited 50 minutes for a 2 minute consultation in which I was told that I don't have tuberculosis, but I have asthma and to return in a week if the cough doesn't go. At which point I'll be prescribed a steroid.
Not once have I been tested for asthma. The fact that the inhaler doesn't help stop the cough was ignored. That my family also has a cough (not as persistent as mine) is ignored...
Get rid of the NHS and let me spend 11% of my income on what I feel is the best health care for me.
2007 November 7th, 05:59
that is exactly what happened to me worley, expect for the x-ray! My GP didnt even look at my throat he just said it was asthma, even though my sister started having a really bad cough a couple of weeks before me.
I was so annoyed with the doctors lack of motivation to actually consider it might be something else. Why would both myself and my sister start to get symptoms of asthama within a couple of weeks of each other?
a little confused and very annoyed rant over
2007 November 7th, 06:10
Well the NHS saved my life on two occasions. SoI'm a grateful patient.
2007 November 7th, 06:30
here in south africa the medical clinics just prescribe anibiotics, don't even bother doing a proper exam.
got the flu, here are some antibiotics, got a sore throat here are some antibiotics.
then they wonder why people don't finish their anti biotics and now we come up with a drug resistant strain xdr tuberculosis, which unlike in the states where they put you in quarintine, here they just let them loose on the unsuspecting public (and remember now south africa has one of the highest aid infection rates in the world and this dont go well with tb) cause the hospitals don't have the space to keep them.
2007 November 7th, 07:24
I am a strong advocate of Prevent rather than Cure.
The NHS really should concentrate on screening for illness rather than waiting for an illness to develop to a point where treatment is ineffective.
In particular, cancers. Women are scanned routinely for breast and cervical cancer, but men are left out of the equation (I am aware that screening certain cancers in unreliable, but is that really an excuse not to do it).
When my wife was pregnant with out first child, the doctor believed her when she visited and told him. She received all the prenatal scans she should have. However, the midwife team were crap. She never saw the same midwife twice.
Second pregnancy: the doctor refused to accept that she was pregnant despite 4 positive pregnancy tests. She had to go for a blood test, the results of which took a week to return. Consequently, she failed to have at least one important scan. After the horrible experience the first time, we decided we'd have a home birth. Great team of midwifes who couldn't have been more helpful.
And this time round (yes, number three is on the way!!!) the doctor (a different one but in the same practice) did believe her, and we're going for another home birth.
When my father was dying, he contracted MSRA in hospital and was in solitary confinement for weeks.
When my wife's grandfather was in hospital, he contracted MSRA, but was left in the filthy ward to spread the germs. And his vegetarianism was not respected. They dished up meat and fish to him regularly. Not even our complaints stopped that.
I don't blame the staff; I blame the government for its constant interference. It's not just Labour; the Tories did it to. Either leave the NHS alone, or kill it once and for all!
I heard a report on the radio about AIDS and TB in South Africa. Scary stuff how deadly the two together are.
2007 November 7th, 09:08
I think that the GPs do try to screen for potential threats. I go for regular tests and my doctor then checks the results and adjusts medication accordingly.
She also tells me off for drinking too much, over eating, the wrong foods, not enough exercise, overuse of a camera etc.etc.etc.
Im still alive and getting fitter by the day but is it worth it???!!!
2007 November 8th, 11:30
I have to say I disagree with your sentiments Worley. I suppose it depends on your politics whether you believe in the NHS type system or Private, but lets not kid ourselves both systems have flaws. Now myself I believe in the NHS type because I think it is a fairer system, even though it adversely affects my family. I agree to an extent with you about problems with hygiene, but thats our fault if I could explain..... For years we voted for the Conservatives who ran on a low taxation platform, this was followed by Labour who also in an attempt to gain power advocated low taxes, the consequence of this squeeze, or probably a better way to think about it, a mindset was that the NHS could no longer maintain a surplus of beds, we can't have beds lying empty what a waste, without this surplus and coupled with the privatization of cleaning staff, and cleaning staff no longer part of the ward team, cleaning became problematic. These problems are being addressed, but I agree it is somewhat hit and miss and depends on the quality of the management and clinicians from the regional to local level, this is however the same in the private sector. As an aside are you aware that BUPA routinely sends cases it has botched up, or can't do to the NHS. I should declare my interest in this, my missus is a senior sister in a large regional teaching Hospital, her department regularly treats private patients. MRSA, and all the other, I hate the term hospital acquired infections, are a real issue in both the private and social systems, but we should take the hysterical tabloid headlines with a pinch of reality. We could easily and cheaply, control MRSA in hospitals, but the measures would be draconian, stopping all patient visitors is the most obvious, after all a third of the population have the methycillin resistant SA living on them. As an aside I do get annoyed when people say what heroes fireman are(they are), but never equate that healthcare workers go into a burning building everyday, just by going into Hospital, again I speak from experience, my missus contracted a severe illness from work, she was 30 minutes away from having the respirator switched off, before she started to improve. In a way we are now reaping the reward, of our overuse of the miracle antibiotics of the last decades. Worley as for your Wifes grandfather, I do blame the staff, Nurses are people like the rest of us there are some good some bad, but Nurses do have, by nature of their profession a higher bar than most any other profession, Nurses and Doctors can't have an off day or even an OK day, they should be on the top of their game always, the level of care your wifes grandad got was not acceptable. This nicely leads me on to why we get PO'd in this family with the system, my missus has 2 Degrees she has numerous other qualifications, her field of expertise is nuclear medicine, she is responsible for a nursing team spread throughout this and other hospitals, in total about 25 nurses, she leaves the house at 7 in the morning, walks the 30 minutes to work and generally gets home at 7:30 to 8:00 in the evening, a couple of weekends ago she was called into work 4 times for a grand total of 16 hours, all for the same wage as a newly qualified fireman, it gets a bit annoying at times, the thing is, it is a prerequisite that on the one hand my wife be very smart but on the other to be dumb enough to be taken advantage of. Sometimes we think that we should take advantage of the private system and move to Canada (a Hybrid system) or the states where she would get a substantial wage increase.
Worley your notion of a preventative system is an interesting one, but lets look at perhaps the biggest problem within society and therefore the NHS substance abuse, liver disease in the uk is a real issue nowadays people in their 20's are presenting with end stage liver disease, unheard of in the past, assaults on healthcare staff by drunks is at huge levels, yet when even simple measures to curb this consumption (preventative medicine) are mooted the cries of nanny state are loud and clear. This is a difficult issue I know, science doesn't seem to help, one day the world Cancer org. says obesity can increase our risk of cancer, and I just heard on the news today that an American study says obesity makes you live longer. I know this is turning into an essay but not finished yet.....almost. Worley you say that you would rather spend your 11% on healthcare that you choose, thats fine for a healthy person, but what happens if you develop a chronic condition, or when you reach middle to old age the 11% figure just would not cover your costs. Health insurance is an interesting issue, I am not against it, but see it for what it is, the providers chief, perhaps only aim is to make a profit, nothing wrong in that, but it has knock on consequences we should not ignore, no insurance no health care or very expensive, develop a chronic condition, and the insurer is within their rights not to re insure you, we have seen this in this country many times, BBC Watchdog have had numerous reports on insurers finding ways to avoid legitimate claims. The thing is for all it's flaws the NHS is in my eyes the fairest, most just, efficient system, but we should always look to make it better, and more efficient.
2007 November 8th, 12:00
Don't be too quick to embrace private insurance; as a college professor in the US, my Dad had "excellent" health coverage with one of the largest HMOs in the country. A couple of years before his death he began visiting his doctor complaining of a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and changes in his voice. He was repeatedly diagnosed with minor respiratory infections and sent home with antibiotics or nothing at all.
Finally, his primary care physician agreed to refer him to a specialist. A simple biopsy revealed that he had oro-pharangeal cancer, Stage IV, which had already spread to his lungs (he was a marathon runner who'd never smoked in his life and hadn't had red meat, alcohol or coffee in a decade).
Dad had kept meticulous records of his doctor visits and was represented by a colleague, one of the top plaintiff's attorneys in the western United States, yet the HMO refused to cover his expenses to be evaluated at M.D. Anderson (one of the top cancer centers in the country).
The settlement conference was like an elaborate piece of Kabuki theatre, with the HMO represented by a wet-behind-the-ears kid fresh out of law school. It was pretty clear they had put a price on Dad's head, and he could either accept it or they would simply wait for him to die, when their liability would be capped at $250,000.
Dad endured surgery, radiation and chemotherapy before dying in agony at age 63. His doctor is still practicing (and no doubt still crossing his fingers and hoping for the best rather than ordering expensive tests which might draw scrutiny from the bean-counters at the HMO).
So much for "the best health coverage money can buy."
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.