Getting Sick in Denmark

25 Sep

On Wednesday, I went to the doctor’s because I was feeling ill AGAIN. I was interested to see how the Danish health care system works, being a welfare state and all.

To begin with, I have not received my CPR card and number yet (sort of like a social security number), which basically registers me as a resident in Denmark.  That number also comes along with the doctor I am supposed to see if I get sick.  However, because I do not have my card yet, I had to schedule an appointment with a DIS-recommended physician.  The trick is, you must call between 8 and 9 in the morning to make an appointment.  I called all three doctors that DIS provided, and all of the numbers went through to an automated message in Danish, of which all I could understand was the number 8 on one of them and pressing it did NOT get me a live person.  So I had DIS make me an appointment.

The office is literally on the same street as the Market Halls at Israels Plads, so not too difficult to find.  When I entered the building that my doctor’s office was supposed to be in, I was a little confused.  The hall into which I entered was grandiose and beautiful, something out of the 19th century, yet with the dim lighting courtesy of only a few windows, it was a little eerie.

The eerie lobby

Pretty staircase

Entrance to doctor’s office

The waiting area was normal enough.  But I was so delighted that my appointment was at 1:00 and I was called in by my doctor at 1:02.  What a difference from home!  I had heard so many negatives about universal health care and that it takes forever to be seen.  But I called the day before and got an appointment and she was almost precisely on time for it!  So much better than waiting 30 minutes to an hour to be seen in the States.

When I walked into her office, there wasn’t the medical sterile environment one finds at the doctors offices at home.  She met with me outside her exam room at her desk.  Her wall had a floor to ceiling painting full of colors and glitter.  Next to her desk was an old wooden rocking horse.  She was not wearing a lab coat, bur rather she had on a white button down, jeans, and a pair of Converse (the Danes love their Converse!).  It was such a relaxed environment.  She took a look at my throat and told me I would be better in a couple days and that it was just a common cold.

When I paid I had to pay with cash.  300kr was the cost of my visit, equating to $60.  However, because health care is free once I get my card, DIS reimburses me!  Obama Care may be just what we need…

No I did not get a free Strawberry tart from the doctor’s
But I did grab it afterwards at Market Halls to cheer me up 🙂

FLASH FORWARD to a few days after I had originally written this post.  I am 5 times sicker than I was on Wednesday.  Thanks, but I did NOT get better in a couple days it is NOT just a common cold.  I likely have a sinus infection.  So back to the doctor’s I will go this week…. I currently am living off of chamomile tea, ZYX lozenges (they are like cough drops, but with intense medication in them), and 12 hours of rest a day.


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