The Takeaway’s Healthcare Roundtables

by Christina Geyer on August 26, 2009 · 0 comments

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As I announced yesterday evening on the AmiExpat Facebook page, all this week, national radio morning news show The Takeaway is doing Healthcare Roundtables and I’m going to be taking part in a discussion with other Americans living abroad on Friday.  “The Takeaway… is a co-production of PRI (Public Radio International) and WNYC Radio in collaboration with the BBC World Service, The New York Times and WGBH Boston.”  Here are links to their roundtables, where you can listen to the segments, they’re about 10 minutes each, or download the entire show:

Update (28 Aug 2009): I just took part in The Takeaway’s Health Care Reform: Americans Abroad roundtable.  Click on Friday’s link above to hear me and two other American expats discussing healthcare in Germany, northern Ireland, and Russia.  I didn’t get much time to talk about the German system, so I thought I’d a couple quick points here:

  • Health care in Germany is excellent.  If I had a serious medical condition, I would not even consider moving back to the US.
  • German doctors tend to prefer the least invasive methods of treatment.  Surgery will only be done if that’s really the best option and other treatments have either not worked or are not available.  Antibiotics are not prescribed for colds.  You are much less likely here to walk out of the doctor’s office with a prescription.  Over the counter medicine must be bought from a pharmacist and are not available in bulk (5 doses of NyQuil or 20 painkiller tablets is a large pack here).  I used to stock up in the US and smuggle in medications.  Now I’ve gotten used to the culture here and hardly take anything (breastfeeding kind of got me over the last bump).  I feel healthier and save a lot of money on all the medications I don’t need but would have taken if I was still in the US.
  • I would much rather give birth in Germany than in the US.  There is much more emphasis on natural delivery here.  I gave birth to Oliver vaginally, while I’m certain that as soon as I’d stepped into a hospital in the US and they’d seen that my water had broken and Oliver hadn’t descended yet, I would have gone straight to the OR for a C-section.

Read more of my health care series:

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