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Lithuania Expat Forum

Medical Healthcare in Lithuania

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2/1/2015 09:04 EST

This is a warning to any expats that may find themselves ill here in Lithuania:
If you live in Vilnius or Kaunas, the medical care may be better, because these 2 cities have the best hospitals, clinics and doctors. This has been my experience here in Klaipeda. When I first became ill, I was passed back and forth from one doctor to the next – with none of them recommending anything except multiple exams and medications – and the 7-8 doctors I saw all wrote different and conflicting diagnoses in my health booklet, but none considered it serious enough or cared to do anything more. Finally I collapsed one day, bleeding internally, and was taken to the hospital, where they did a sloppy colostomy surgery and left me to die in a re-animation room. My wife came to visit me every day, and one doctor asked her why she bothered, because he said I was going to die anyway - can you believe it? After 1 month in a coma, I woke to find that my legs had been allowed to atrophy and I was covered in bedsores. While I was transferred from department to department as I recovered, I found that no one ever appeared to know much about me, and the doctors that did "rounds" seemed incredibly unconcerned and inconsiderate - if they could speak any English at all – so much for “reading a patient’s chart” or caring, and the simple fact that forgot to take out my stitches on time – and when they did, missed and forgot to take out a couple stitches, is just one example of what sloppy ignorant care they are capable of. The absolute worst thing is that no one could speak much of any English – as I am an American, and my Lithuanian and Russian are very poor – especially in trying to indicate what was wrong with me. The highest level of English was very low, and this was from only a handful of doctors and nurses. After a while, my wife and I noticed that all the relatives and patients were constantly giving “gifts” to the nurses and doctors – everything from candy to straight cash. The level of care and attention I received improved a little as soon as I started giving the medical staff “gifts”. I have been able to re-learn to walk a little, but I am still very weak and will never be as healthy as I used to be. They left me with an colostomy that doesn’t work well, and I am in constant pain and discomfort from all the complications that occurred from the poor care and attention I received. The things that happened and the situations I experienced in the Hospitals are simply too ridiculous to believe. Some of the nurses and doctors should lose their jobs or be punished for what they have done. My experience has been unbelievable and horrible in many ways, and I am lucky to be alive! I could write several pages about the completely idiotic things that happened to me, but the most important thing to understand is that Lithuanian healthcare can be very risky and is not very good at all unless you are a well-known connected person or you can bribe your way through it. Everything is “all show and no go” at most of the medical hospitals and facilities. Beware!

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3/9/2015 23:00 EST

You have been thru hell and lived to tell about it ! My wife "has NOT been diagnosed" seeing Drs. for 10 yrs, and we have been to 4 hospitals in Chicago, downtown, and Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She has an neurological/derm. rheum. problem systemic. She told me one had to bring tips and brandy in the
U.S.S.R. days.

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5/25/2015 05:48 EST

My God Rikmo, you poor man. It begs the question, why do you stay?

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