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Old Dec 3rd 2017, 7:19 pm   #1
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Default Why have private medical insurance?

I have to pay tax here so I am not going to pay the €1 400,00 odd pa as we have done for 3 years.
The state hospital here is better equipped than the hospital particular who's equipment is outdated.

The only difference is waiting in the queue but we are by now used to it. Waiting 2 hours to see a family doctor on occasion is not as bad as waiting 30 minutes in a private hospital if you have to pay the exorbitant membership fees.

In emergencies you get immediate and professional attention. Been there and done that.

The private hospitals do not even have ambulances or paramedics. You have to get your own way there. The state ambulance cannot transport you to a private hospital.

What am I missing?
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Old Dec 4th 2017, 6:10 pm   #2
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

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Originally Posted by Ukkram View Post
I have to pay tax here so I am not going to pay the €1 400,00 odd pa as we have done for 3 years.
The state hospital here is better equipped than the hospital particular who's equipment is outdated.

The only difference is waiting in the queue but we are by now used to it. Waiting 2 hours to see a family doctor on occasion is not as bad as waiting 30 minutes in a private hospital if you have to pay the exorbitant membership fees.

In emergencies you get immediate and professional attention. Been there and done that.

The private hospitals do not even have ambulances or paramedics. You have to get your own way there. The state ambulance cannot transport you to a private hospital.

What am I missing?

I cannot agree more with you!!!
For a quick check, I will pay the private specialist myself. For serious illness, the state will take care of you.
Private clinics are companies and want to have more and more profit. Maybe they suggest unnecessary exams ........ Just the idea of it!

So no private insurance for me!!
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Old Dec 4th 2017, 6:15 pm   #3
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

From my experience & that of my friends the Portuguese NHS is helluva good.

Between the group of us we've had treatment for everything from diabetes to heart attacks to cancer & not one of us has had any cause for complaint except perhaps for the food. lol!

Hell the serious cases such as cancer chemotherapy even get picked up & taken home by the Bombeiros at no charge.
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Old Dec 4th 2017, 6:45 pm   #4
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

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Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post

Hell the serious cases such as cancer chemotherapy even get picked up & taken home by the Bombeiros at no charge.
Woooow, my parents had the same in France (chemo at home) but I thought that would be only possible in France.
Good news that this exists here too!!
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Old Dec 4th 2017, 8:41 pm   #5
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

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Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
From my experience & that of my friends the Portuguese NHS is helluva good.

Between the group of us we've had treatment for everything from diabetes to heart attacks to cancer & not one of us has had any cause for complaint except perhaps for the food. lol!

Hell the serious cases such as cancer chemotherapy even get picked up & taken home by the Bombeiros at no charge.
Yes, NHS here is helluva good; Hospital meals are cr-p!
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Old Dec 4th 2017, 8:42 pm   #6
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

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What am I missing?
Quite a lot of money from your bank account without much to show for it, is my guess.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 8:40 am   #7
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

I'm glad you've all had such positive experiences with the Portuguese public health; I've met many who had some pretty bad ones.

It's true the private hospital can't do everything; I consider the private insurance a 'fill in'. Also, the yearly expenditure is capped so if you do have a really serious condition you'll likely end up shunted to the public hospital.

But the waiting periods there can be deadly; and the overburdened specialists often don't have time for complex cases.

My friend almost lost his foot, lying in bed more than a week, waiting for an orthopedic surgeon in Portimao. He'd lived and worked here for decades and spoke fluent Portuguese. On the other hand, when he got cancer they were quite good [although for that he traveled to Lisbon each time].

My OH has a very rare disease, it took a lot of time and testing to diagnose, and the consultation of multiple specialists. I don't think the public hospital would ever have had the time to figure it out.

I had a sliver of palm thorn removed; it took an MRI followed by a 45 minute operation by an orthopedic team.
A local lady on public health nearby has a similar injury, and has been in pain for 5 years. There will be no MRI or surgery for her; merely being in crippling pain is not urgent enough to warrant the resources.

I met my pharmacist at the private hospital; she'd brought in her old mother who was suffering from dementia. They figured out she was having a rare reaction to a medicine, and now she's ok.

We drive an old car, dress in rags, never eat out, don't travel, and basically pinch pennies. But we pay for private medical insurance, and plan to keep doing so. Having public AND private cover is very reassuring; it's not a question of IF one will need medical help, only when. I don't want to lose weeks or months of my life waiting in pain or illness; I know some people don't have that choice.

It all depends on your priorities I guess.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 8:51 am   #8
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

Perhaps (like many things here) it varies by area.......... I & the friends I mentioned earlier are all in the area covered by the Coimbra hospitals & we've all had very good experiences of the PT NHS.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 9:09 am   #9
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

Generally excellent where I am too, although we have resorted to private treatment for ophthalmology and for ENT on account of long waits for appointments in the public service. No need for an insurance policy for that, though.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 10:00 am   #10
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ukkram View Post
I have to pay tax here so I am not going to pay the €1 400,00 odd pa as we have done for 3 years.
The state hospital here is better equipped than the hospital particular who's equipment is outdated.

The only difference is waiting in the queue but we are by now used to it. Waiting 2 hours to see a family doctor on occasion is not as bad as waiting 30 minutes in a private hospital if you have to pay the exorbitant membership fees.

In emergencies you get immediate and professional attention. Been there and done that.

The private hospitals do not even have ambulances or paramedics. You have to get your own way there. The state ambulance cannot transport you to a private hospital.

What am I missing?
Even though I sell insurance I tried to tell you when you first asked about health insurance "don't knock the national health system till you've tried it!". Not that I take delight in saying "I told you so"
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 3:15 pm   #11
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

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Originally Posted by Red Eric View Post
Generally excellent where I am too, although we have resorted to private treatment for ophthalmology and for ENT on account of long waits for appointments in the public service. No need for an insurance policy for that, though.
I agree 100%.
I will use private medical treatment and as long as the bill is below EUR 3,300 (cost for medical cover for 2pp) per year, no sweat.
Without a private health insurance, I can go where I want for private treatment: France, Turkey, Spain, Portugal .........
We travel a lot and to have a private health insurance in Portugal is for us a waste of money.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 7:55 pm   #12
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

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Originally Posted by mfesharne View Post
Perhaps (like many things here) it varies by area.......... I & the friends I mentioned earlier are all in the area covered by the Coimbra hospitals & we've all had very good experiences of the PT NHS.
As you say, it appears to vary with areas. I recently had a double Hernia opp. at Colvilha. It is a University Teaching Hospital; excellent; except for the food!
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Old Dec 12th 2017, 3:55 pm   #13
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

Well I can only add this last horrendous ' Week from hell' as my only experience of health care in Portugal.
I have already written about it in WPYO... and WMYS..... So won't do the whole thing again A summary of events is below.

Local doctor in village. with a large ex-pat patient list. Refused to come out to my seriously ill OH. Insisted I bring him to the surgery When I managed to get him to her surgery she put him on a drip for 3hrs then mis-diagnosed his condition as Food Poisoning and then masked the symptoms by loading him with pain killers. vomit inhibitors and other Pharma crap.

I then watched him deteriorate over a period of two and a half days on this advice
.
Made a call for the doctor to come out to him at 8am on Friday morning. after he began vomiting again . Request ignored .told to bring him in again .. receptionist once again arguing the toss , rude, and demanding to know if I could pay!!

I made an appointment for 9am with Portuguese doctor..(original had gone on holiday ) At 9.05 am I scrapped that idea and got my OH out of bed ,dressed him ,drove him to private hospital in Lagos, where he was seen immediately and a CT scan performed( had to open the dept especially for him)
Specialist (also on holiday as it was Bank holiday weekend) had scans sent to his home..He sent all results back to hospital within two hrs. Emergency doctor then called Alvor hospital and a specialist was sent for from Lisbon. I then drove OH to Alvor. hospital

He had an emergency operation at 9pm on Friday night. delayed by 3hrs because of some jobsworthy admin woman who demanded money.uo front before the op. She had been 'unable to contact insurance company apparently (this is a long and horrific side story )

Suffice it to say that my OH would not be alive this morning had these wonderful doctors specialists and the surgeon not pulled out all the stops for him and worked through their holidays. Acting quickly.and professionally
Our having private insurance as well as public mean't I had a choice.
I am appalled that it was up to me to make the call.,but at least I had the option.. and i still have an OH.
That the admin side of things left more than a little to be desired. ( in the case of Alvor criminal) is something that AFPOP will be addressing at a meeting with the management of HPG Hospitals next week. As OH is on the committee this is now personal...
That the local village Doc was lazy, more interested in money than her patient, Had a badly trained receptionist .Then made a seriously bad diagnosis?.. Well nothing you can do, except never darken her door again.and let everyone you know hear about it.

I'm off to pick OH up from the hospital now..Looks like we will have a happy christmas now.. and he will get to see his first grandchild very soon.
Put simple ...you can't put a price on your health.... Have a happy ,healthy christmas everyone
.

Last edited by GeniB; Dec 12th 2017 at 4:02 pm.
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Old Yesterday, 8:11 pm   #14
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

Wow; hairy story! I'm so glad he's ok.
You can also have the private hospital send an ambulance, but yes, you have to choose which service you want to use and then phone them.
The public hospital [in Portimao, not the local clinic] has better trauma services I'm told; so if you've had a life threatening accident and you need surgery / blood/ within the hour, it might be a better choice.
If you have an illness and need in depth attention and diagnosis, the private hospital has the time and resources to do what you need.
Generally they need approval from the insurer [or prepayment] before operating. This should not be the case for emergency cases though! That's a major flaw in their system and I hope it improves.
I had to pay when approval didn't come through before my surgery date, or I'd have had to wait [in pain] for 2 weeks for a new appointment.
I was reimbursed less my co-pay. As I said in an earlier post, the public hospital would not perform this surgery at all, as the condition is merely painful and possibly [eventually] crippling, but not likely life threatening. It therefore doesn't reach their threshold of need.

What was the diagnosis of your OH?
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Old Today, 8:00 am   #15
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Default Re: Why have private medical insurance?

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Originally Posted by liveaboard View Post
Wow; hairy story! I'm so glad he's ok.
You can also have the private hospital send an ambulance, but yes, you have to choose which service you want to use and then phone them.
The public hospital [in Portimao, not the local clinic] has better trauma services I'm told; so if you've had a life threatening accident and you need surgery / blood/ within the hour, it might be a better choice.
If you have an illness and need in depth attention and diagnosis, the private hospital has the time and resources to do what you need.
Generally they need approval from the insurer [or prepayment] before operating. This should not be the case for emergency cases though! That's a major flaw in their system and I hope it improves.
I had to pay when approval didn't come through before my surgery date, or I'd have had to wait [in pain] for 2 weeks for a new appointment.
I was reimbursed less my co-pay. As I said in an earlier post, the public hospital would not perform this surgery at all, as the condition is merely painful and possibly [eventually] crippling, but not likely life threatening. It therefore doesn't reach their threshold of need.

What was the diagnosis of your OH?
Hi Live...The surgeon (who flew in from Lisbon ) saw his CT scan and made the instant decision to do an emergency operation right then and there. He literally walked away to scrub up.. OH had a total blockage of the small intestine.His bowel was on the point of bursting .nothing was getting through at all by then.

It was totally life threatening. That this b****y jobsworthy woman could walk in to him on the gurney taking him to the operating theatre and say 'NO money NO Operation' is beyond belief and despicable. Beyond any 'flaw' in procedure that i have ever heard of.
I had sat in that hospital for over 6 hrs.. At no point did she attempt to speak to me about payment or clearance from the Insurance company. She was already aware that it was a Bank Holiday for gods sake.The minute the surgeon arranged the operation she should have been there with the forms.
As per normal procedure the prep nurse had removed all OH's belongings and given them to me..I had had the foresight to write down my name and tel no on a scrap of paper and given it to him..This woman had asked OH to pay knowing he would have nothing on him to do this with

The consequences of her dereliction of duty...?

My OH had to be brought back to the prep room and lie there in pain and now panic for a further 3 hrs. The surgeon was extremely annoyed as it meant he had now to put unpleasant catheters in all orifices.whilst keeping OH calm

Anyone who has had one up the nose and down the throat One in the urinary tract ,and one directly into the stomach will know how truly unpleasant that is.

This woman then..(only with the aid of my foresight in providing my mobile phone no) called me as I was walking my poor dog (left alone for 9hrs) into our local village with my YD..A good HOUR after I had left the hospital I had to cough up 6,000 euros !!!..or no operation..

You can only imagine how horrified I was to hear that not only was she demanding cash..but worse .my OH 's EMERGENCY operation hadn't even started...because of her.. Panic ensued.. I was so exhausted after the drive there ,the long day at the hospital and then the drive home,I couldn't think straight and was going to just jump in the car and drive all the way back and pay with a credit card.
YD thought quicker and said she would transfer the money from her account via the computer.
It took an hour...
First a sprint back to my house., Then a car trip to her flat. Then the discovery that the iban no BITCH woman had given was wrong.. Then the discovery that no recipients address was revealed online. A dash by YD to check it at the local multibanco machine where it IS revealed. Finally sending copies of receipt to the hospital. and getting confirmation of payment.. (she still hasn't been reimbursed five days later )
OH was operated on at 9pm.Friday night . Surgeon called at midnight. to say it had been a success. No cancer thank god. A rare folding of the intestinal wall ,usually found after a previous surgery.(Not in OH's case though ) It was key hole surgery so he has made a remarkable quick recovery.. Came home yesterday
Shock has set in for me and I can't sleep and have a shaking stomach most of the time. I can't believe this all happened and how close my OH came to death by neglect and malpractice.
My brother (the professor) just sent me the truly horrific stats on deaths caused by doctors in all fields.Very little publicity given

OH will of course follow this up along with the chairman of AFPOP when they meet with the chairman of the hospitals board next week. Apparently his case is by no means rare. I hope they throw the book at this appalling woman.
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