Excellent health service in Helsinki

While having a hiking holiday in the mountains in Italy this summer, I came down with flu, and that seemed to have caused an irregular heart beat (flimmer). It was not too serious, but there is always a risk of a blood clot. The doctors in Italy checked me professionally with EKG and the correct medicine but told me to have proper treatment in Finland as soon as I arrived back home…

Back in Helsinki, I made and appointment with Diacor because I wanted quick treatment. After an extra 2 hour wait passed the agreed time, I did not meet the appointed cardiac specialist, but a general doctor. Their IT system was hopelessly out of date and resources low. For EUR 100, he booked me into Haartman Hospital, the public hospital at Meilahti, specializing in cardiac matters. No tests, no measurements just advise! It seems that the private sector does not like dealing with heart conditions, but they do taking your money.

The next day, Haartman called me and asked me to visit Kirugi where highly efficient nurses took blood tests and an EKG. The waiting time was 15 minutes. Three weeks later, I arrived at Haartman to have a “cardioversio”.  I arrived at the ward at 08.30h where a kind nurse explained the procedure and prepared me for the treatment. The doctors put you to sleep for a few minutes and give a gentle electric impulse to the heart to return the normal heartbeat.

At 09.50h I was injected with the anesthetic, fell unconscious and woke up a few minutes later, with a normal pulse of 52, down from 100!

The doctors and nurses were competent and businesslike. The two other patients alongside me were also really pleased with the cool efficiency of the procedure and staff. The whole thing just took 3 hours.

As I said many times, I do not mind paying taxes, especially when the result of public service is so good. Never forget that the private sector has no monopoly on efficiency and good service. The whole process at Haartman was well designed and all I needed was my Kela card, which brought up my patient records on the hospital screens after being scanned. A big thank you to the hospital staff!