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The Greek Medical

The Greek Medical

Old Sep 9th 2002, 12:46 pm
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Default The Greek Medical

OR Is Your Hand Supposed To go There, Doctor?

Like many of you here, my DH (darling husband) was a bit apprehensive about his Embassy-requested medical exam. We are filing our DCF through the Consulate in Athens and we live on the island of Rhodes, about a 45 minute flight away (plus bus time) or a 16 hour ferry journey (each way). Travel expense has been our biggest outlay in our DCF process!

The Consulate sends out the medical instructions with Packet 4. We had received the instructions early, but were unable to book an appointment (we were told) until we had the letter from the Consulate. Since the letter was never asked for, I believe we could've gone for the medical on a previous visit to Athens, which would have saved us one trip. There are two clinics authorized to perform the Embassy medicals; we chose the one nearest to the Embassy, Euro Clinic. We were told to expect two hours for the process and that there would be a blood draw for HIV and syphillis (forget the initials for that test) and a chest XRAY for TB. In packet 4, we were also sent a handy dandy CHART OF VACCINATIONS which put our minds to rest immediately. It shows the vaccine(s) against age(es) of the immigrant to help you identify which vaccines you may need. We were advised that we could obtain some of the vaccines locally to save time/money, but upon calling to set the appointment were told by the clinic staff NOT to..."you MUST see the Doctor first!".

DH was up at 5am to catch his flight to Athens and made it to the clinic for his 11am appt. He reports that most of the time spent was waiting. After paying 76.50 euros (properly receipted) and thinking "wow, that's less than the 125 euros I was quoted", he was sent for his blood draw (only one small phial) and XRAY and told to wait for the Doctor. The examination was administered by a Greek American physician and consisted of taking a medical history including mention of DH's Naval Service in the Far East. It was concluded that the only vaccine recommended was tetnus, even though the chart showed 2 other potentials. Good thing we didn't go get them here on Rhodes. There was some poking and prodding (but not between the legs, and no coughing, as DH expected) and the Doctor said "now you have to give me 50 euros". The 50 note went right into the MD's back pocket, and the fees suddenly made sense

Per usual Greek custom, DH was given the prescription for his tetnus, sent around the corner to a pharmacy to purchase his drugs and told to come back and have a clinic staffer give him his jab. Greek clinics do not seem to stock any drugs, and I hope I never have to find out if the hospitals operate on the the same system (I think they might).

During the exam, the question of heart trouble came up, and since DH was concerned about this, it bears mention for some of our dear readers. DH had a heart attack two years ago and spent 4 days in Intensive Care. I have felt he is totally recovered, but he is still taking medication of his own volition. After a thorough listen, the MD proclamed DH a "tough guy" and said he's as sound as can be and he doesn't need to take the meds anymore. Yeah! I know previous posters here have been concerned about similar pre-exisiting conditions, but rest assured, the medical is to look for infectious diseases and to make sure you're a breathing human. You also have to present a photo and your passport to help prove the above.

So, the upshot is, the results will be sent to the Embassy ... Doctor confirmed when the interview is set for and told DH, "have a great trip to the States". Tomorrow we're both up at 5 am to catch our flight to Athens for the final interview.

If anyone is interested in the vaccine chart, let me know and I'll find a way to put the info out.

Wish us luck and we hope to have a successful report to make on Wednesday!
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