5 tips for choosing a Health Professional
Our theme for our Event this year is Our Trusted Health Network and on Saturday 29 September we are having an Open Day at our clinic in San Pedro so that our patients can meet the other health professionals who make up that network.
Many of our patients have moved to the Costa del Sol from other countries. So they don’t have that automatic network that you do in a country you grew up in.
And it can be tough to get your head around the differences between how parts of the health care system work “at home” and here in Spain. And the differences between private and public healthcare.
Names of professionals can vary between countries, or, if they do have the same title the techniques they use or their working methods might vary dramatically (we see this in physiotherapy quite a lot!).
So here are our 5 top tips to choosing a health professional:
- Check their qualifications. Sounds obvious but as medical titles and qualifications can change across borders you need to check that the person you are going to see is allowed to do what you expect. In Spain registered medical practitioners belong to Colegios. Each profession has their own, often within specific regions and members are given a Colegio number. Each website has a directory to look up your medical practitioner. Check physiotherapists and osteopaths on the Colegio de Fisioterapeutas. Check doctors and surgeons on the Colegio de Medicos Pleas be aware that each province / region has it’s own Colegio and your health professional must be registered on the correct one!
- Recommendations. Ask around. If you keep getting the same name from people with similar health issues it’s a good sign!
- Assessment. In my experience the professionals who take the time to get to know you, look at you properly and discuss options are the better ones. Medicine is rarely one size fits all.
- Before and after. Can they clearly explain what will happen, how you will feel and a timeline? Can they tell you what success looks like (they might view it differently to you!). Have they got the experience to support you through the process?
- Do you feel comfortable? it’s rare that 1 appointment fixes everything. You don’t have to want to be their friend but you do have to feel comfortable working with them.