The Olive Press’ Commercial Director Dale Nottingham tries out an affordable private health scheme
LIVING and working in Spain is, for me, a truly enriching experience.
Absorbing the culture, making new friends and above all, grappling with the language, have all provided memorable milestones along a wonderful voyage of discovery and personal fulfillment.
Except, that is when it came to my health. Ordering meatballs and getting pork chops is one thing, but when you’re sitting in front of a doctor trying to describe the symptoms of a serious illness, you need to know that the physician in front of you understands precisely what you are telling him.
You also want to be sure that your doctor knows what he is doing. This may sound a facile point but when you have lived overseas for as long as I have – in Thailand, Vietnam and China for the last 15 years – this is not something you take for granted.
And so it was that after a seeming eternity of indestructibly rude health, I recently fell ill with a urological infection.
This was also around the time I made the acquaintance of Dr Raymond Prats of SimpleCare.
Through the course of our (unrelated) discussions, the issue of my health problem came up.
What I need is to be able receive excellent healthcare without losing the shirt off my back
Having listened to my concerns about finding a doctor who could understand me and who I could trust, Dr Prats suggested I give SimpleCare a try.
So I did.
And I can honestly tell you it was one of the best decisions I have made in
a long while.
The way it works is very simple. First you become a member of SimpleCare, which you can do online in a matter of minutes. Within a few days, you will receive your membership card. It doesn’t matter if you have had a previous condition; they take everybody.
Being a SimpleCare member brings you two major benefits.
First it gives you access to the best specialists and doctors in the private health sector. The peace of mind you get, knowing that your health is in qualified, capable hands
The second benefit – and this is really important when you consider that health-care costs can often be prohibitive when you “go private” – is that being a SimpleCare member qualifies you for huge savings on you medical bills.
SimpleCare can do this because, as a large US based company, they are able to leverage the prices usually only available to the big insurance companies.
When I paid my bill, out of curiosity, I asked the lady behind the desk how much
it would have cost me if I hadn’t used my SimpleCare card. Amazingly, the price of my consultation and treatment would have been almost double.
As for the doctor; I can say with hand on heart that Dr Sanz, the chief urologist in the Clinica Premium in Marbella – recommended as the best urologist in the South of Spain by SimpleCare – was consummately professional, sympathetic, attentive and – not least, bilingual.
Indeed, even the nurses at the reception desk spoke pretty good English. The whole experience was very reassuring.
In summary; I don’t speak great Spanish and I am not certainly not familiar enough
with the Spanish public healthcare system to navigate the maze of its variable quality. What I need is to be able receive excellent healthcare without losing the
shirt off my back.
SimpleCare has enabled me to do that. And the peace of mind that brings is truly priceless.