I visited another blog by an immigrant who basically writtes about her problems in finding how the Norwegian system works.
Although in this blog I want to focus more on the differences, not only on the negative exeperiences I have had here, I came to think of what happened once, when I visited a doctor.
There it goes:
According to the Norwegian Health Care system, everyone is enttitled to a doctor. You contct the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, they send you an application form, with name and location of all practitioners in your area. You choose 3, and send back the form. after some days you get a notification about the doctor you have been assigned.
Fine. We had done this, and I had choosen a doctor guided by her name. I wanted to have a female doctor, you knwo, for the sisterhood. Aha!
We forgot about it all until months later when I noticed that I was developing some itchy spots on my skin.
I then phoned the doc, and got an appointment.
When the day arrived, I took the buss to the center. From there to the doctor it was about 1500m up hill, just for those who know me to understand how badly I needed a doctor.
After walking up, I arrive to the doctor's office, and I am received by an old assistent, who starts the conversation Norwegians don't seem to resist to:
- So where are you really from? - Hvor kommer du eggentlig fra? (They emphasyze the really, as if saying "despite speaking Norwegian very well, and despite all that integration speech, you are not from here. As if I had ever tried to be)...
When my turn comes, I am introduced to the doctors office. It is dark, whith thick old curtains. On the walls I can see old certificates for participating in sports (dated ex 1974), and then, to go with the decoration, I see that the doctor herself is an old lady.
As she starts talking I get speechless. She is very old, and I mean she should have retired long ago. Her voice trembles, and her motions are quite slow.
Anyway, as long as she helps me, her age is none of my problems...
But exactly this help... hehehe! It goes more or less like this:
- So you have skin problems.
- I do.
- Does it itch?
-Very much. It started with one spot on my tummy. After two weeks, I had another on my back. ( I try to know very well my body, and to notice all abnormal changes).
As I am tryingto tell her that I had had the spots for about 6 weeks, and they had been getting more, the doctor says to me:
- Ok, It is nothing. It will pass eventually! Have a good day!
- (again: big, wide opened eyes!)
Well, I changed my practitioner that same day. And saw a private dhermatologist days later.