Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Into the black hole

I recently had to change my insurance because I quit my job and became a freelancer. So now I have an insurance with the Freelancer's Union, which offers HIP. I pay about $400 a month. Had I wanted to retain my old insurance, with the doctors who have treated me for 15 years, I would have to pay about $700 a month. So HIP it is. Now, maybe I am hallucinating, but it seems to me that their doctors are not like the ones I used to have. They seem on the quackish side to me.
Perhaps I've been unlucky and have not chosen well.
My primary care physician gave me the feeling of a used car salesman. I get the feeling these doctors make you have tests so they can charge the insurance company. Or maybe I am paranoid.
Yesterday I went to see the gynecologist. I was there for a "minor" inpatient procedure. My appointment was at 2:30 pm and I arrived on time. By 4:30 pm I was still waiting to see the doctor. I had been stuck in the examining room and told to undress and I could hear him talking to a patient for about 20 minutes. I was tempted obviously, to leave, but I also thought, let's get this over with. Another appointment could mean another two hours. When he came in, I complained that my appointment was at 2:30. This guy apologized not very sincerely and then started telling me that I was berating him and that if I didn't like it I could go to a clinic, that I didn't have to stay and that if I wanted to tell him how to run his office etc, etc, by which time I told him I didn't like his tone of voice and I got out of there. This man is a bully and an asshole and I will never return.
Then I called my former doctor, even if I have to pay for the appointment ($250), for I want her opinion on the procedure. They make you feel like you are a fugitive from a chain gang. No insurance, no doctor. After I explained that I had been a patient for 15 years, the person finally let me make an appointment, for September 19. I'm not going to go into the whole megillah, but it seems to me that something is not working. And I haven't seen Sicko yet.
I went to a new ophtalmologist. The new one has a cramped office somewhere on the East Side the size of a taco stand, where there is not enough room to sit. I waited there also for two hours before he saw me. This apparently is normal.
If doctors are disgruntled with the insurance companies, they are taking it out on the patients. The patients are paying 400 dollars a month to get healthcare and are treated like cattle. It is unbelievable disrespect to have a patient wait for more than 1 hour, let alone two. And if it wasn't because we are talking about our health, and we really don't have much choice, we wouldn't stand for it.

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