One of the problems you have in the Japanese National Health Insurance scheme is that you eventually have to balance your own skepticism versus the doctor’s knowledge. This is especially true when the doctor is paid by the visit and not by the procedure.
The main effects of the latter are that doctors keep you coming back again and again for follow up appointments. Dentists have been known, for example, to clean a few teeth and then dismiss you whilst setting up an appointment to get a few more teeth cleaned. I’ve recommended that She Who Must Be Obeyed get a little more skeptical after a few dentist visits.
In my case, I’m balancing x-rays that even I think are scary versus the sense that I’m being milked for cash. I’m also weighing the amount of time I spend in the lobby waiting for five minutes of procedure and consultation.
A couple weeks ago, I ran out of patience with the wait, but this week I got in quickly and I was the only weakness in the system. I ran my hospital card through the machine, got the receipt and walked to the correct part of the hospital. It’s only when the receptionist asked me for a document and I gave her the wrong one and then someone brought the correct one that I realized I was in such a hurry I hadn’t waited for my hospital card to be spat out.
I only went to the appointment because the x-ray two weeks before had been obviously wore than the first one after I broke my toe. The recent x-ray, though, looked much better than the last one but even I could see the unhealed part of the break. When the doctor scheduled another appointment I must have sighed in a knowing way and he assured me I only needed two more visits.
I didn’t tell him that he might only get one. And he’d only get that because seeing the bone worse off than it had been before scared me into doing more follow up than I’d planned.
Now I have to deal with glowing in the dark. Five x-rays in two months will do that to you.