Doctor Visit #2 – Using our State Sponsored Health Insurance

 It was Wednesday, 3 days after I saw the private doctor at his apartment (see previous post) I have been on antibiotics for 3 days.  I was having lunch with my friend Jennifer.  All of a sudden my ear pain became unbearable! I had to excuse myself and tell her I needed to bike home because I was in so much pain. She made a comment, “you have been on antibiotics for days now, shouldn’t you be getting better?”  She was right!

Later that afternoon, I decoded to try to use our state sponsored insurance. I was intimidated because of problems accessing it before without knowing Hebrew. But, I had paid a private doctor and still got nowhere with my ear infection. Jim’s colleagues recommended a clinic near our home. He told me earlier there would be no doctor available on Thursday afternoons, but a nurse could see me,  He said the nurse could recommend me to a doctor if necessary.

There was a kiosk when you enter the building to take a number to be seen.


Of course, it was in Hebrew, but easy enough to figure out now that I’ve been here for 6 months.


In the waiting room I met with a woman who questioned my insurance card. We have a special private insurance linked to the state sponsored insurance, so the cards look different. We struggled to find a solution with our language barrier. 


She entered some of my information and directed me to go up to 4th floor to room 410 and wait for the nurse.


When I arrived to the 4th floor, there was another kiosk to take a number. Someone helped me figure this one out because you had to specifiy who you wanted to see and it was in Hebrew. I got a number but noticed there was no board where numbers were displayed…only a number called over the loud speaker in Hebrew. I asked an English speaking patient how 422 was pronounced in Hebrew and memorized it so I could recognize my number when it was called.


After waiting a few minutes, I was called in to see the nurse. He quickly told me he could not see me because he did not have equipment to look at my ear. Only a doctor could do that. He sent me back downstairs to the registration desk to get an appointment with a doctor.

I went downstairs to start the process again. I took another number and met with the same woman who gave me a new room number to go to on the 4th floor. At this time I was remembering why I went to the private doctor first. On the 4th floor again, I met with a doctor this time. She checked out my ear and asked questions about what the private doctor said and medication he prescribed. She wanted to call him, so we did. They spoke in Hebrew for a few minutes and then she put him on the phone with me.


He told me to continue the plan he suggested and I should feel better soon.  I left the clinic with no new medical advice, just the hope I should feel better soon.  At least I attempted to use the state sponsored insurance for the first time.


Does this ring a bell? Have something to share?