My experience at a Serbian hospital.. USA vs Serbia

20 Jan

Yeah, I know… the hospital is NASTY LOOKING but how does it compare to my hospital back home??? Read below!!!!!

My whole life I have struggled with A.D.H.D. It stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is an ailment that is widely diagnosed in the USA. It is characterized by excessive talking, failure to concentrate, easily distracted,  excessive movement and quick temper. My early years were difficult in school because of my lack of concentration. I would rather talk  in class than focus on math, science, etc….. I was diagnosed with ADHD early but my mother and father didn’t believe in medicating kids for hyper activity. I dealt with it for years but finally broke down and confronted a doctor when I was 25.  I was working in management at a car dealership and found myself unable to concentrate on my customers and having a very short attention span. My doctor agreed with me and put me on Klonopin and Adderall. My insurance premium each month cost me $250. I also had to pay $20 each time I walked into the doctors office. The two medications cost me $100 co-pay for a total of $60 pills. That totals $410 dollars a month for my ailment……

I gave up my pills when I moved to Mexico last year. I was scared to try to take them over the border so I decided to give it up! I didn’t have any major issues and enjoyed my time in Mexico. Things were great up until three weeks ago. I was stressed over my mother’s cancer, lack of understanding the Serbian language, and all my teaching responsibilities. It finally broke me. One of my friends told me about his mother working at the hospital here in Zrenjanin. She had written a few articles on ADHD. I hit the goldmine. I told him I would loveeeeeeeeee to speak with her about the European treatment options. Here in Europe it is not a commonly diagnosed disorder. I told him I didnt have any international health insurance or anything. He said “don’t worry about it! You will not need it!” He got me in the next day to see his mother. She was quick, very professional and through her sons translation… got me a prescription for the Serbian equivalent of my US medication. I asked them how much I would need to pay her for seeing me and having me come into the hospital. He said “ You don’t have to pay ANYTHING!” I was BLOWN AWAY!!!! I remembered an occasion where I went to the hospital E.R to have my heart checked out and just to get in the door was $500! HERE IT WAS FREE???? He took the written prescription and drove me to the nearest pharmacy and went in to get my pills. He didnt need my I.D or anything. He came back a few minutes later and said “Here you go!” I said “How much do I owe you?” He said “NOTHING!” I said “WHAT?? How much did it cost????” He said ” It was only $3 dollars for all the medication and he wanted to pay for it!!! WOWWWWWWWW!!!!! What a deal!!!  I go from spending $410 dollars a month for my problem in the USA to $3 dollars here!!!! UNREAL!!!!

I have heard some negatives about free healthcare in Serbia. I have had a few friends that have had serious issues and they said it is common to bring a “gift” to the doctor to get in quickly or even be put on some surgery schedule. Another friend said her mother was on a waiting list for cancer treatment drugs. I am only basing this on my experience and I have to say that I was and am TOTALLY SATISFIED and wonder why the HELL we have to pay so much!!! The pay difference between US docs and Serbian docs is HUGEE!!! I have heard a few doctors here make about $1000 to 1500 a month. I can’t tell you with total certainty but I can tell you that most docs make at 4 or 5 times that much… big city docs and specialists are making way over $100, 000 a year…

My experience was EXCELLENT!!!!! I support FREE HEALTH CARE!!!! I know another doctor here and asked him “why are you not trying to practice medicine in the USA ? You could make soooo much more!” He said ” I didn’t get into medicine to make money! I got into it to help people!” ENOUGH SAID!!!!!!!


My opinion? SERBIA WINS easily!


Posted by on January 20, 2012 in USA vs Serbia


Tags: , , ,

30 responses to “My experience at a Serbian hospital.. USA vs Serbia

  1. zr

    January 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    why “nasty” ? 🙂 This hospital has best looking in Serbia and maybe it’s the biggest. 😀

    • cather76

      January 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      hahahahah… izvini… almost everyone I talk to about it says “ITS UGLY!” hahahaha.. no offense…
      thanks for reading..

  2. ivona

    January 20, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Well the building itself is a communistic legacy…. so it isn’t much to look at… But the doctors are really ok…

  3. Ivan

    January 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    The medical care is great if you actually know someone who is a doctor so he can tell you to wich doctor you should go that is really good cause you get everything sorted out quite quickly for little or no money…now the problem lies when you dont know anyone and there are alot of lazy ass doctors and nurses who dont give a shit to pacients. My mother works for what you would call a 911emergency ambulance you know doctor in the emergency vehicle so i never had to wait a minute for all my medical problems since my birth till now. But alot of ppl are not so lucky and they have to wait an awful lot of time which can result in their death. Plus the doctors especially surgeons like “presents” that you bring them (their favourite present is an envelope you can figure that one out easily) so that they put you forward on schedule…that kinda sucks. But i guess it is still cheaper than in USA and you dont need any insurance which can be a pain in the ass.

  4. MlinarChe

    January 20, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I read your blog almost every time you publish it,it’s quite good, makes me smile alot and I haven’t been smiling a lot lately. You should see some of the hospitals that aren’t so big, they are REALLY nasty looking. but doctors are excellent here and you don’t need to bring the doctor a drink, at least from my experience. Keep on bloging and ill keep on readin’!

    • cather76

      January 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      you are great… thanks so much for you nice message… love ya!!!

  5. Tamara

    January 21, 2012 at 12:33 am

    I agree! Another thing are dentists. You know how much we have to pay here in the US with insurance to get something fixed. Its a lot cheaper there. Im actually going to have some work done next time I go down there. So if u need any dental work done, do it while in Serbia, it’ll save u a few bucks and most dentists are really good too. Peace!

    • cather76

      January 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      true… i had many people tell me the same thing about Mexico.. they have great dentists but it soooooo cheap!!! thanks for reading!

  6. sunnygirl

    January 21, 2012 at 1:38 am

    what is that you seem not to understand is that you didn’t pay in hospital just because that’s boys mother works there. otherwise, you would have to. i had to pay great deal before i got my serbian citizenship. do you think that they offer free care to anyone that walks into the hospital?? sure, it is not as expensive as in US, but we earn less we pay less.
    what you should mention is that here you get the chance to see specialist much sooner than in US where you have a family doctor who tends to drag patients forever before they send them to see the specialist. and that is a brilliant thing about serbian health system. and sure doctors don’t get to be paid a lot, nobody is paid as they should be in this country:):). on the other hand, the doctors in US pay a lot for their study, whereas here studying is free (or used to be). anyway, interesting blog.

    • cather76

      January 21, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      I have had many friends tell me about their experience in serbian hospitals.. none of them had to pay ANYTHING UP FRONT!!!! I am not stupid! I realize universal healthcare is paid for by taxes but it is well worth it!! My father went to the hospital a few months ago. He was taken in an ambulance and had to have many tests and stay overnight.. his bill was $8,000 for one day! SICK!!!!!!! Many of friends are poor and told me they had broke a leg, arm, been sick etc and had to pay NOTHING!

  7. sunnygirl

    January 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    then you guys are really charming, because i was given a bill after every single visit! why then people pay insurance before they come to serbia if they get free medical care here???

  8. BeliOraoSrbija

    January 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    This is an example of the corruption here in Serbia’s medical system, good job on showing how you can get over not being entitled to have medical care here but still get drugs on the DL.

    • cather76

      January 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      here it is!!!! 🙂

  9. BeliOraoSrbija

    January 21, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    This is an example of the corruption here in Serbia’s medical system, good job on showing how you can get over not being entitled to have medical care here but still get drugs on the DL.

    Why did you delete my comment? do you not want people to know the truth about health care in Serbia?.

    • cather76

      January 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      hey.. i didnt delete anything.. i get a lot of comments and sometimes forget to approve… ahhahahaa.. i better keep my mouth shut about the freebie… ahahahahah…

  10. tissa

    January 22, 2012 at 1:37 am

    how come you got it free? ive been to the drs and hospitals tonnes of times and they just steal all my money!

    • Tina Jones-Jovanovic

      January 24, 2012 at 1:02 am

      Hey Tissa, I am guessing it is because he knows someone. It was the same for me when I went to a hospital near Nis, but I have heard from others they had to pay as well. Just a guess… or maybe it was the gift he brought the Dr. ??

  11. Pedja

    January 22, 2012 at 10:09 am

    It’s not the biggest med. center in Serbia , it is a big hospital thoe. What u wrote doenst; have much to do with a medical care sistem , but has much to do with right ppl u know :))

    • cather76

      January 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      hahaha… OPPS!!!! hhahah… thanks for reading..

  12. Tina Jones-Jovanovic

    January 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I am loving reading your Blog. I have blogged about some of the same stuff at Chronicles of Serbia blog. In this situation you are right. Serbia wins. But knowing someone is Key! If you don’t know someone, things can be very different as someone else said above. fortunately, I have a well connected Serb husband and wonderful family. Going to the Hospital last winter was a breeze with their help, and my husbands Dentist is my new fav! will be adding you to my blog list. Thanks for writing about your life there.

    • cather76

      January 24, 2012 at 12:51 am

      Hi there… hahahaa.. yeah.. someone told me it isn’t always that way!! I hope I don’t get anyone in trouble.. ahhaha.. thanks so much for reading my blog.. i will have to check yours out too!!!! Where are you from?? Drago mi je!!!

  13. Tina Jones-Jovanovic

    January 25, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Nice to meet you as well! I am from the U.S. same as you. 🙂 Best of luck in your goals to Highlight the beauty of Serbia! there are many to be seen.

    • cather76

      January 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      oh wow.. where are you from??? i am from charleston, illinois but living in Zrenjanin… how is serbia treating you?? thanks for finding me…

      • Tina Jones-Jovanovic

        January 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm

        We live in Ocean City, Maryland. In Serbia we live near Nis. We are in the US now. I am nine month pregnant and wanted my Dr. to speak English. I loved my Dr in Serbia, but His English wasn’t so good. Having a child with a language barrier and other issues made it a no brainer to do it here at home. We will return to Serbia in the fall. I sent you a message on Expat blogger, that is how I found you. . I think it will all be old news now.
        here is the link to my experience in a Serbian Hospital.. you have to go to the end of the post. .;postID=1671467973941963102
        One unmentioned fact. the Dr, didn’t want to let my Husband in the room. and His English and my Serbian were not good enough to communicate well enough. I had to ask him several times to let my Muz come in and then he finally conceded. And it was a breeze from there. Good reason to have my baby here in the US. I can’t imaging having to struggle to communicate while in labor. :/ But I am missing Serbia and my Friends and family there. Hope we can meet when we all return to the land of Burek!

  14. Ana Honoria Radakovic

    January 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    The only thing i don’t like is the corruption in healthcare system, but i myself never really witnessed it. Nobody asked money from me. The worst is for women who give birth, midwives humiliate them very much untill they get a gift, but they don’t ask for the gift openly. There is a majkahrabrost site with stories of women giving birth and their treatment. But in general doctors are awesome, everything is free, you get to pay something small if you don’t have the health card, but it is a tiny amount. there are always some humanitarian actions – f.ex to get more incubators for babies etc. Doctors are very good and I feel safe 🙂 Thanks for writing about both good and bad in uor beloved country. Cheers, you are such a wonderful soul for what you do for us.

    • cather76

      January 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm

      thanks so much for your comments… i loved it.. you are a great person.. have a wonderful day and thanks for reading…

  15. MZ

    August 27, 2013 at 12:39 am

    It works the same way in Poland. I live in USA now and every time I have a chance to compare prices here and there for the same treatment and medications, I want to cry! Last year I had done endoscopy in Poland and my bill from private clinic(no waiting for the appointment) together with 45 minutes consultation with my doctor and anesthetics was total of 150 dollars. The cost of the same treatment here six years ago was over six thousand dollars!!!!!!Oh, and did I mention that my doctor nearly fell off the chair when I told him how much it costs here? Unfortunately when he asked me what was the difference between endoscopy here and there that makes it so much more costly, I had to say” NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL ” 😦

  16. MZ

    August 27, 2013 at 12:44 am

    I forgot to add that my monthly meds cost me there $10, and here $125!

  17. Ingvild

    September 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Which hospital is it? I am an adult with adhd who find myself in a bit of a medication crisis here in Belgrade.

  18. Z

    July 9, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    The reason you didn’t pay anything is because the treatment was assigned to your friend on his insurance which is not legal.
    But even if you payed for everything ( doctor and medicine ) you would probably pay about 50 euros tops. Most likely half that.


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