Well, personal anecdote does count for something, doesn’t it?
France: I feel like death warmed up, and trot round to see the Doc. He decides a variety of tests are required including a full blood analysis of the usual things plus others I’ve never heard of. I go down to the local analysis lab and have the test. Two days later I return to the doctor for a discussion of the three-page printout of the results and the necessary treatment.
Germany 1): I go to the doctor here about my son. He decides that two specific blood tests are required. A nurse draws off some blood more or less at once and takes it to the lab at the end of the surgery. We wait for 10 to 15 minutes in the waiting room and get called back to discuss the results with the doctor. He tells me that one of the tests is negative but I should call back the next day to see about the second.
Germany 2): I fall down the cellar stairs pushing a heavy trolley which catches me a heavy blow in the ribs. I laugh it off but after a few days it is as bad as ever and more painful. I see the doc and he does a full scan of my chest with some fancy contraption in his surgery (many doctors even have X-ray machines on site), informing me that I have a large lump of congealing blood just under the skin which will not go away on its own and requires surgical removal. I also learn that the internal wound has not leaked into the chest cavity but that he can see rather too much fat around the liver …… he tells me I need a minor operation and should go the same day round to the hospital, which I do. At A&E, I wait 20 minutes and see a specialist who confirms I need this minor op. to to remove the blood, but though urgent it isn’t critical and can wait till the next day. I return the next day, wait about five minutes, then the anaesthetist explains the procedure and gets me to sign a form allowing them to put me under, which I do. Then I get undressed, onto a trolley, get an injection, fall asleep and wake up with a fresh scar. Five or six days later I return to have the stitches removed.
Germany 3): Last year I decided that I might be suffering from stress, an amazing bit of self-diagnosis which I will no doubt be told off for. At the Doc’s, he put a load of sensors all over my torso and head and hooked it up to some sort of computer. I had to lie there for 10 to 15 minutes, whereupon he came back, did a printout and looked at it. He told me I did have a somewhat high – but not alarmingly so – stress-level, but that he couldn’t be certain that this was abnormal for me. He told me it was no real cause for concern; blood pressure and other things were OK. He gave me some mild calmant or whatever (I forget exactly what) and told me to come back in a week’s time to do the test again for a comparison. He also asked me why I thought I might be stressed and the ensuing discussion lasted about 10 minutes, during which he gave me some practical advice about stress management.
How does it go over there in the UK?