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Surprising Science

Health Care for Good Health in Crete

The most important difference in Crete and the rest of Greece from the United States is that the majority of doctors here are well-trained and committed to good health care for their patients. Now is a good time for the U.S.A. to switch to Medicare Health Care for All: do away with superfluous paperwork, let patients keep their own records and take the temptation of pharmaceutical perks out of the doctor’s office.

My family and I have good health insurance in Greece.  My husband works at a university so we are all on his health insurance plan.

In the U.S.A. he also worked at a university and we paid for the most expensive and, we thought, the best health insurance offered which was Blue Cross Blue Shield at the time.

In Greece we have no doubt that when we become sick our doctors will see us, regard our problem seriously and do everything they can to help us recover.  We can use our health books to get care anywhere.

In The States we knew when we were sick it was highly unlikely the doctor would be able to help us or even pretend to take our ailment seriously.  When surgery was necessary we knew we were in fight with Blue Cross Blue Shield and no matter how awful we felt we were in for a long term struggle to force the health care system to help us recover.

Along the way we had the good luck to meet enough caring and serious doctors we could find our way to passably good health.  Unfortunately most of the doctors were not helpful and often they were insulting.

The thumbnail photo is the photo of all my personal medical records spread out for you to see.  In Greece patients are responsible for their own records. Doctors go through the results of a blood test or other test with patients.  If for some reason you need help but your personal doctor is unavailable, your pharmacist will help you.

Most of our doctors an our pharmacists have studied in northern Italy.  They understand the importance of diagnosis and using the proper pharmaceutical to relieve health problems.

My radiologist has the most technologically advanced instrumentation in her office.  Each year she gives me my mammogram, osteoporosis test as well as other necessary tests such as a the blood flow of arteries.

When I go to my General Practitioner and other doctors I carry my records in a folder and the two books you see on top of my records.  The smaller book is the book in which the doctors describe the office visit.  At the end of the office visit I sign the top page, the doctor keeps the white copy so they can be reimbursed from insurance.  The yellow page is the carbon copy of the original and remains in my health book. In this way we are able to have a record of date of last office visit and any notes that have been included.

The larger rectangular book is where the doctors write prescriptions.  The pharmacy keeps the white copy and the yellow copy remains in the book.

There are no secrets.  Doctors and pharmacists can refer to these two health books for the records of the patients history.  Plus I carry my blood tests and any other pertinent records with me.


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