Uncertainty about surgery or a major medical procedure can drive the decision to seek a second opinion. It is important to have confidence in the diagnosis, and to get the most-current information about treatment options available to you. A second opinion with a highly qualified specialists from Germany, Austria or Switzerland allows you to approach your treatment decisions in a country of your permanent residence with the necessary confidence to help you make the best choice for you.
When should you get a second opinion?
For complicated, non-emergency medical situations, you should consider getting a second opinion any time you face:
- A potentially life-threatening disease
- An unclear or confusing diagnosis for your condition
- Any experimental or novel course of treatment
- Multiple and/or chronic medical conditions
- Widely variable costs in tests or treatments
Seeking a second opinion is often an important and necessary next step for patients with serious conditions.
Before your online video appointment with medical professionals from Germany, Austria or Switzerland
If you are seeking a second opinion, here are some considerations to keep in mind when preparing for your appointment:
- Contact your healthcare plan about obtaining a second opinion. Many well known health insurance international plans will pay for a second opinion abroad, but it is best to check beforehand. In some cases, if you don't get a second opinion for a procedure, you may have to pay a higher percentage of the cost.
- Be honest and straightforward with your current physician. Ask for your medical records so you can share them with the specialist providing the second opinion. By law, in many countries your physician must give these to you, however, you may have to pay for copies.
- Consult with a specialist who has at least the same level of expertise as your current healthcare provider.
- Research your condition and treatment options so that you arrive as well-informed as possible. This will make it easier for you to effectively discuss your healthcare situation.
- Make sure the specialist has received your medical records, including test results—prior to your online appointment
- Sometimes two heads are better than one. Consider bringing a friend or family member to listen, take notes and to also ask questions.
What to ask during your appointment?
You have done your research and are meeting with an additional specialist to help ensure that you make the most informed medical decision. You should bring a notepad to your consultation and ask these questions of any other doctors you intend to consult:
- Could there be a different diagnosis/explanation for my condition?
- What treatment(s) do you recommend for it?
- Are there other viable treatments I should consider?
- Are there any additional test I should have?
- What happens if I wait or don't receive the treatment(s)?
- Are there side effects associated with the treatment option(s)?
- Are there any other risks associated with the treatment option(s)?
- How long is the recovery period for each treatment option?
- What are the expected outcomes of each treatment option?
- How much will the treatment cost? Is it covered by insurance in Germany, Austria or Switzerland?
Staying connected with your healthcare specialist is always important, and during this global health crisis that’s especially true. At SilaMed, we are doing our part by providing support to our international patients while limiting visits almost all hospitals in Europe to only those international patients who absolutely must see their care team in person.
To help us achieve that goal, we’ve extended our TELEHEALTH SERVICES (VIDEO ONLINE MEETINGS WITH LEADING GERMAN, SWISS and AUSTRIAN DOCTORS) to everyone our partner clinics treat, whether they are a current client at SilaMed German Medical Tourism program or a new international patient seeking care in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. Telephonic and/or video appointments enable us to safely bring high quality European medical care services to patients during this difficult time.
Here are some of the reasons we value this innovative option!
Telemedicine minimizes the risk of coronavirus exposure to patients and healthcare workers. We all need to protect ourselves and each other during this time. Staying home in the country of permanent residence helps flatten the curve which helps to reduce the number of infections in patients’ community.
Meeting with your German provider via online increases access to excellent healthcare by making it more convenient and available when you need it. With telemedicine, follow up patient care is also easier to manage for doctors as well.
Telemedicine also helps our international patients overcome barriers such as transportation between different countries, mobility issues, scheduling conflict, lack of local doctors, and finding childcare.
Telemedicine services have been proven to reduce costs for patients who have to drive or flight far distances, take off from work, or find childcare while visiting their European healthcare provider. It has also been noted that costs associated with treating the patient have been reduced and, in some cases, even keeping patients out of the hospital.
If you are interested in learning more about our telehealth services or in scheduling an appointment at SilaMed, please call our SilaMed Patient Care Line and send your patient request form.