Thoughts experiences on medical care here?

  • Just wondered what you think of the medical profession here....standards of care and suchlike.

    Reason I ask is I was recently diagnosed with having a kidney stone despite my doctor saying no it's an intestinal problem therefore I recommend you have a camera shoved up your rectum. 8| My wife said he also wanted her to have that procedure and she told him he could shove it up himself where the sun don't shine. Got me wondering if he's on some sort of cut from the doctor who does the procedure?

  • I'm laughing at the universal reaction you and your wife both had to the suggestion of a colonoscope exam. I very much doubt that the recommending physician is getting a kickback, but that thought adds to the general hilarity associated with thoughts about the procedure.

    But(t) the fact is, colonoscopy is recommended for people who reach the ripe old age of 40, and, unfortunately, repeat exams are recommended every 10 years after that. An uncomfortable thought, though the bright side is that many, many colon cancers are detected and lives saved.

  • It's just that it was something I was never advised to have done by any doctor in the UK hence my dark thoughts on the subject.

    My wife said according to reports she's heard from other patients he's always advising those who go and see see him to have it done. He does have history of offering services carried out by his 'acquaintances'.

    When I had to have my gallbladder removed he was going to send me to someone he knew to get something down my gullet to have a look at my innards. When I met and told the surgeon in Buenos Aires who was gong to carry out my surgery he said there was absolutely no need for that procedure to be done beforehand.

  • Hmmmm. Have you thought of changing doctors?

    If truth be told I don't go very often....last week was the first time in at least 3 years.. I don't have a problem with him it's not as if you're forced to see those he recommends. The reason for my post was to see if anyone had a similar experiences with other doctors here.

  • Our only experience so far was with an emergency room physician at Swiss. She was condescending and didn't want to order an X-ray, instead implying that my husband was a drug seeker who had come to the ER with invented pain in order to get pain killers. When we insisted on an X-ray and she could see on the film that he had 3 broken ribs, she became somewhat nicer. Somewhat.

    By the way, pain meds seem not to be part of the menu in Argentina, as the strongest thing on offer for his broken ribs was Tylenol.

  • I'm afraid that ER doctors see not just the best and the everyday variety of people, but also the worst, especially drug seekers who undoubtedly become ever more clever in scamming the people who are trying to help them. But I agree: if narcotics aren't an option, what would an addict have to gain from going to the ER?

    • Helpful

    My experience here was not positive, but I am a spoiled kid from Europe: we have almost free healthcare and in North of Italy hospitals are pretty good. Plus, you always know someone working there or who knows someone working there so you can play your cards, in case of need.

    Here you are a nobody, and the staff turnover is incredible. In 5 years here, I have seen 4 gynaecologist as none was there for more than 2 years in a row!

    I also think that, despite paying for health insurance, the service is terrible - yes, they are nice, but I don't think the doctors really care about you and can follow up with you. There is also no coordination/exchange of information between the various specialists, and specialists tend to see/consider only issues in their area of expertise.

    They are also very skeptical with patients, and consider them poorly. I can understand that in the age of Dr. Google every patients could be misinformed and pretentious at the same time, but I really feel lost in the health care system.

    Should I ever have a major health issue here, I'd move back to Italy in a heartbeat.

    Personal experiences:

    Once I had a subcutaneous abscess in my belly. I bore with it for days, until it became so inflamed it turned purple and I couldn't sleep because of pain. So I went to Hospital Italiano clinics in San Isidro, but they are just offices (they do pap-smears and injections at most, but do not have a bisturi).

    The 'guardia' MD told me I needed to have my abscess drained, but she didn't have the equipment at the clinics. Instead, I should have gone to a private ER in a partner institution, namely Hospital San Lucas, 5 blocks away.

    I walked to the other guardia/ER and paid my fee (co-pay), about 5-10 USD.

    The ER doctor thought my abscess shouldn't be touched. She simply refused to do anything on me.

    My husband walked back to 'our' insurance guardia to explain the issue. 'Our' ER doctor said she cannot force a colleague to perform a procedure, so we should - instead - go to Hospital Italiano's own hospital in Almagro and she would be alerting them I was coming (!!!).

    We didn't have a car back there, but luckily a family member was promptly available to take me there.

    Once I arrived to the hospital in Almagro, I was in and out in 40' because I was apparently among the most urgent cases there. A young doctor (younger than me!) did all the procedure by herself and was extremely professional.


    With dentists, there was a clinic in Olivos but the equipment was outdated and they seemed overworked, so I preferred to go privately and get an extraction+implant with Dr. Pelcman in Palermo.

    Also, I don't like that every time I got o a dentist they ask for an x-ray, even if I am there just for a teeth cleaning.

    I would like to have my wisdom teeth extracted, and my husband recommended me to go to the same doctor where he went (within the Hospital Italiano network), but I already had an xray a few months ago for my teeth cleaning, and for some absurd reason the clinics won't share it nor they have provided me with a hard copy of the xray.

    The system is pretty dumb.

  • Thankfully, the only times I've been to hospitals or docs here (apart from the TB scare) have been due to back or neck problems from falling off the bike or other physical activities.

    The best hospital I went to was in Nordelta and they were very thorough, but I think they overuse the MRI scanning a tad.

    Private hospitals won't touch you if you have TB, so I had to go to the public respiratory hospital in Olivos which is probably the most run down and dilapidated hospital I've ever seen.

    The staff on the other hand were utterly dedicated, as in most hospitals around the world.

    I had the blood testing and screening done in various clinics and it was very efficient, with a ticket for a free coffee and croissant in a nearby cafe. They also screen you for HIV at the same time and whilst I had no reason to believe that I was HIV positive, opening the results envelope was a tad nerve wracking.

    All in all, the public system is very run down, or at least it was six or seven years ago when I last went. Private is shockingly expensive and if you're prepared to do the leg work and not get bullied around, it's very good.

    On the other hand, I've yet to find a dentist that doesn't resemble Laurence Olivier's Nazi, or that doesn't use reject 1950s equipment. Is it safe?

  • I would like also to add that, having had experiences with end of life patients/family here, I was appalled that there was no physician of reference to provide a comprehensive picture of the patient's health status to the family. Yes, there were specialists involved, but nobody that summed it up or advised on the next steps.

    Also, the fact that if you need an exam or a procedure it must be approved first takes up considerable time given that over the weekend the administrative offices are closed.

    Maybe this is normal in private healthcare, but in Italy, if you are hospitalized and need an exam, you are simply taken to the relevant office/equipment. Here you have to obtain an authorization from your obra social first, which involves piece of paper moving from office to office.

    My husband used to bring them by hand to speed things up, but then a weekend came and by Monday it was too late.

    I am not sure if this was done intentionally because there was nothing left to do anyway, or if this happened because of mala praxi.

    Just having this doubt makes me shiver!

  • Have to give credit where it's due. All in all I've been pretty happy with the care and attention I've received in my town. Has to be said one advantage of living here rather than in Buenos Aires is being foreign I'm seen as a bit of a novelty so they like to impress. Having a decent health policy no doubt also helps especially when skipping the queue.

    I haven't been to a dentists here and even before hearing of Splinters experience I had no intention of ever doing so.

    Got my blood test results back yesterday and passed them all with flying colours. Something my wife couldn't believe considering ''the amount of rubbish I eat and drink'' according to her. ^^

  • Every time I have to have blood work, I share your relief in receiving good marks. Actually, as your wife suggests, I'm always rather surprised not to have flunked.

    Yes despite obviously being happy for me poor wifey must wonder what's going on. She eats a far healthier diet than me, drinks next to no alcohol and is far more active yet her tests are never as good as mine...might be to do with the genes.

    Took them to show the doc this morning and even he was impressed!! Not all good news right enough...also took my ultrasound report to show him. Seems my bile duct isn't quite normal so I'm being sent for another scan...a CT one I think, got to stay still for 30 minutes while it's being done. He said there was nothing to worry about, as my blood tests results are normal it might be a hereditary thing. He never mentioned having a colonoscopy thank goodness. ^^

  • Choripan? Pizza? Bubble & Squeak?

    Funnily enough I used to BBQ a hell of a lot even during winter but the novelty has worn off over the years. So much so I rarely bother now. Used to make home made pizza as well in the Tromen wood oven.

    Tonight I had poached salmon fillet which was something I used to eat a lot of in Scotland....much more healthier and a lot ruddy easier to cook!!