Lost and found on the highway to Košice

The path of the patient in Slovak health care is a mythical creature just like Slovakia's east-west highway.

A newly-completed stretch of the D1 highway near Poprad.A newly-completed stretch of the D1 highway near Poprad. (Source: SITA)

I recently saw a job offer for general practitioners that initially made me laugh. Requirements for candidates included “interest in their patients.” I imagined how the interviews with applicants look when it comes to this issue. What candidate would not say they are interested in patients when the job is about seeing patients?

Two weeks later I met my new GP for the first time in person and I quickly stopped laughing. The tired gentleman in his late 50s, with no socks wearing some old highly visible slippers under his desk and a newspaper article on the poor state of health care in Slovakia clipped to the office blinds, did not bother to invest too much into a greeting but placed before me a paper with “Informed Consent” to sign. How can you ask a patient to sign that she received information on diagnostic and treatment before she even opened her mouth to say why she came to see the doctor?

What I want from my GP

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