This is a long post because I am amazed about what I have discovered. I came across this information after researching this topic on the web. Continue reading for more info...
I have psoriasis
, and it is an embarrassing skin disorder that turns your skin very red in certain areas, namely your legs and elbows. I cannot remember the last time I wore a short-sleeved shirt or shorts because of the appearance of my skin on my elbows and legs. There are many people in the public at large that are not aware of psoriasis and may believe it is contagious, so to save myself the embarrassment, I just do not wear short-sleeved shirts or shorts in public.
Up until December 2005 I had Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, an HMO
, as my health insurance provider. As a sufferer of psoriasis, I had to visit my dermatologist at least once every six months. Every time I had an appointment with her, I would tell her that the lastest cream she prescribed was NOT working and my psoriasis is negatively impacting my life. (I could not wear short sleeves, I cannot wear shorts, I can not go swimming--which I absolutely loved). I would inquire about a new treatment or drug that was approved by the FDA, and she would just say something like, "Oh, well, Kaiser doesn't approve of that drug." She would then prescribe a new cream that did not clear my psoriasis in any way and worse, would actually burn my skin to the point where I could not use it. So I learned to live with my psoriasis and could never go swimming or wear shorts, even if it was 110 degrees Farenheit (or 43 degrees Celsius) in Arizona. [I visited Arizona frequently because I lived there for 6 years and still have close friends there.]
All of that history brings me to the main reason for my post. I visited the dermatologist here in Duesseldorf yesterday for the first time. The doctor was very friendly and obviously cared about treating my condition effectively. He wrote me two prescriptions, and I went to the Apotheke (pharmacy, for those of you in America) to have them filled. I went home and immediately applied the cream to the affected areas. I could see a noticeable difference after only one application. The intense redness begain to subside almost immediately. Today is day two, and it is continuing to improve dramatically. I am even optimistic that by the time two weeks have elapsed and we're in France on vacation, I may be able to wear shorts and a short-sleeved shirt.
Now tell me, why did I not receive similar results from Kaiser back in the US??? I can tell you why. Because Kaiser Permanente is the most corrupt, careless, money-grubbing machine in the US. The patients are treated like cattle. For more information on how bad Kaiser really is, click here.
I am glad I was able to receive treatment that really works here in Germany! Kaiser is about maximizing profits and minimizing costs. Who suffers because of this greed? The patients. Patients are human beings with their lives being severly impacted by the greed of Kaiser.
My German dermatologist was so friendly. He was really busy and I was not even a patient with an appointment. He had this caring aura about him. It reminded me of the old days when I was a child. I remember the doctors being friendly and they really cared about providing quality healthcare for their patients. Sadly, today it is all about MONEY in the US.
I invite other expat bloggers to tell me what they think of the German healthcare system vs. the US healthcare system. I can say, thus far, Germany has the US beat! Of course, any one and all are welcome to leave comments....