Ozlilly's musings...


What should I write about?
I don’t know about you, but I consider myself a tenacious optimist. I write my blog and manage to get a positive spin on events which may have upset me. I tell my story and try to teach a lesson, encourage, inspire and motivate.
Today I want to bitch,

I nearly wrote this a week ago after my check-up at the hospital. I was so angry, upset– I would even say furious! And I thought I have to post my experience just to prove that I am just as human and capable of being angry and negative as any other person.
Things developed, more things happened. I didn’t get around to writing. My mood settled somewhat but the “bad taste” remained.
Now, a week later, a second experience. So let me tell you my stories.

Last Friday I finally got my post op check-up. It was a few days after the suggested six weeks.
Let me tell you that while in the hospital the head nurse did tell the medical staff as they were doing their rounds that it would be their job to make a check-up appointment for me before I left the hospital. I was still in the hospital and concerned about how to get my next appointment for the second knee operation.
Rewind, back to my check-up in the Outpatients (Ambulanz) department of the hospital before my first operation.
I came to the Outpatients after visiting my local orthopaedic surgeon and receiving a referral. I came with all my x-rays, was examined and told I would receive the information about the operation and required x-rays by mail. The doctor said that they would operate the left knee first and then I would receive the second appointment for the right knee. I would not need to wait so long for the second operation after my rehabilitation.
Of course all this was also interrupted by Covid19. My initial appointment for May was postponed until July. Anyhow.
So, while still in the hospital after exhaustive questioning I was told I should ask about an appointment for the next operation at my Outpatients check-up appointment. Well, nobody made an Outpatients appointment for me, so the six weeks check-up date became six weeks and five days when I finally managed to get an appointment myself.
I’m back at the Outpatients for my check-up. The transport service comes an hour early as is customary. The delay at the hospital is two hours. So three hours later I finally get in to see a doctor. When I ask about the next appointment he asks for x-rays. I had all my x-rays with me last time. To be honest, I had even looked for my x-rays before leaving home, but could not find them. However since the doctor before my first operation and my orthopaedic surgeon had both confirmed I would have the second knee operated after the first, I was a bit upset.
I’m sure my German is not as fluent as I would like in these circumstances. It appeared the doctor was working alone apart from the nurse assisting, and he was already two hours behind in his schedule. It was past lunchtime and it even looked like some of the other staff had already left for lunch.
He told me he’s never seen me before, has no idea about my medical record and I can’t expect anything without x-rays. They actually have an x-ray machine in the next room. I know because they brought me here for x-rays when I was stationed in the hospital and there is a sign on the door.
The nurse said they do not scan the x-rays because it is too much work. She even said they have no records due to data protection. So they claimed they didn’t even have any record of the doctor confirming the next operation or anything else about me!
I then asked about ELGA the electronic health records system here in Austria. It is a little controversial. Some people don’t want their medical records stored. I personally find it convenient when all my medical practitioners have access to all my records. I hope they cross-check for compatibility of medications and can look up dates of treatments or operations. Since my mini stroke a few years ago I notice that my short term memory in particular relating to dates and time periods is unreliable. So I’m happy to have accurate reliable records available. I trust the system to work.

I am not afraid of the truth
You see it in my blog here too. I am not afraid of the truth. I believe when we are all upright, honest, reliable and motivated by integrity, universal values and the common good, then it should result in a better system and world for all of us.
Why not fill the world and the internet and social media with good news from honest people? Why allow negativity, evil and corruption promote fear and inhibit the good use of good resources?
You see why I hesitated writing something negative?
I want to put it all in perspective. We all have our days. I’m venting. This is my outlet.

My motivation is  to make things better
My motivation is still to be honest and to contribute to making things better. Of course my primary thought was my own health. And then of course if I can take care of my health maybe I can contribute to improve the health of others?
As a data assistant the “excuse” of not enough time or resources to scan and store the information really riled me up. I enjoyed my work and yes, I too had more work than I could finish, but I still believe it should be possible to do what’s necessary for the greater good.
Okay, that was the first thing. The hospital.

Next, today, the rehabilitation. Due to Covid19 I was meant to go for a Covid test today 24 hours before entering the rehabilitation clinic. All week I’ve been trying to arrange transport, getting contradictory responses and no clear answers. This morning I was actually expecting to get picked up to have my Covid test. Nobody came. When I finally called the transport service, seems they did not book my request after all. I have physiotherapy a couple of hours later, so I could say I am actually relieved. But in actual fact I made so many calls and got a transport request from my local doctor – all to no avail.

Maybe my blog can give you the run-down BEFORE you need it
I’ve been saying lately by the time I know my way through the system I will not need it anymore. So maybe my blog can give you the run-down BEFORE you need it.
The Austrian Public Health insurance system covers medical transportation when you have an approved application. My sons have been involved in transporting patients in this system as civil servants so I was a little familiar with it. I never actually used it until after my knee operation. We had to get the approval from the local doctor. They can only issue one ticket per type of treatment. So I got approval for transport to the physiotherapist. I actually chose the physiotherapist in walking distance to our flat, but now with my knee operation it is still just a little too far to walk. The transport service is a taxi company specializing in patient transport. They don’t do stairs. They don’t carry you. It’s just like a special taxi company doing only patient transport.
Well, they do the medical transport but not the rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is paid by the pension fund. I must have received a letter from the pension fund informing me that my rehabilitation was approved. It arrived while I was in hospital. I can’t find it. I don’t remember it. With the help of my children we made numerous phone calls and discovered that it is indeed approved and thus the transport to the rehabilitation clinic is also approved. However the designated transport company is a different one.

Am I supposed to just know all this?
Do you even care? Of course not! It’s only an issue when it affects you. Well I felt extremely affected! I don’t even know how many calls I made: – to the transport company; to the doctor; to the health department; to the pension fund; back to the transport company; to another transport company; to the rehabilitation clinic.
Today I’m waiting at home to be collected for the covid test. Nobody comes. Finally I call the transport company. They have no record. Only for the physiotherapy two hours later. The assistant remembers me, she had conncected me to the other company doing the rehabilitation transport. Did I really need a medical chief approval for the transport? The doctor had written medical examination even though I said I needed to go for a covid test. I thought they had booked it. The rehab transport is now booked with the Red Cross and covered by the pension fund. So tomorrow I go to the rehab clinic and can spend 24 hours in quarantine in my room waiting for a covid test which they should do upon arrival.
I’ll keep you posted.

About the author 

Lilly Gundacker

Lilly Gundacker is an Australian living in Austria, now in Vienna. With a loving husband and gifted adult children' she excels at Communication, Family, Marriage and is an Organizational expert. As a retired International Civil Servant and dedicated Unificationist she motivates, inspires, engages, and makes a difference!

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