In Budapest with a toothache
If you are searching for a dental services in Budapest you might come up with J+J Dent ordination . it has nice little logo with a tooth and number 24 which signifies that it is open any time. This is a clever logo I would say since if there is anything more agonizing than toothache in the middle of the night, when you also do not have any pain killers in the house, and you do not even know where open pharmacies might be in Budapest as a foreigner, this is the one thing which will recommend this ordination.
On fancy CEU with a toothache
As a student of Central European University (CEU)when I go to my doctor I put my hands in their hands and I do rely on them and their judgment. I do trust their recommendations. So I went with a toothache to my CEU doctor, she asked if I know where to go? I said “no”. She gave me J+J Dent ordination card. She said that quality matches the prices which are relatively affordable.
Ok. So, in Serbia this is kind of a thing which doctors should not do when they work for state institutions. But since CEU is a private institution i reckon this was ok and I was in a way grateful since first she helped me many times before and I trust her. I also reckoned many students before me came with the same problem and she might have some reliable information on where is good to go.
I was hoping that maybe there is some student discount as with some places, but there was not. This is as I see missed opportunity since CEU would have an interest in managing this free advertisement. It has a good bargaining position. There are many students; they come every year over and over again, so why not ask for some kind of a special arrangement?
This would be especially important considering the CEU dental health plan. In general CEU prides itself for being very comfortable place to be. To digress a bit, it decided to invest in its building, very modern building, with smart technology, big screens and internet in every classroom. Well, not that our professors actually got some instruction on how to use them. I personally had to instruct more than I felt is decent number of them; and not that they know how to use this advance technology differently than they did the old-fashioned black and green boards.
Also, CEU has very large and comfortable library which is from some strange reason very acoustic, and you can hear every whisper from the first floor all the way up, and from some reason co-labs, which are great thing to have, are unfortunately not really soundproof and isolated, so you can really hear what is happening there, especially if you are in another co-lab. Still CEU is very, very appealing if you come from the shity country in which library has decomposing walls, does not even have a plug, not to mention wi-fi, let alone contemporary literature. And surely I reckon this investment is a large chunk of CEU marketing strategy. It was supposed to bring more students I guess.
However, our CEU, at which we enjoy, no question, did not provide more than for one simple filling, in total 100 eur for dental insurance. You can imagine that all this abundance and modern architecture, acclimatized space and smart blackboards will not help you learn if you have a toothache. So if you happen to have any further issue, and treatment happen to cost more than this, and, God forbid, if you are poor, I guess, you can crawl to your shity country to try to get some shity public health service, or just go to the loneliest place of the luxurious library, maybe some corner of the 6th floor with nice view, or to the terrace with even nicer I do not know how many thousands of euros view on Budapest, or just hold on tight to the freshly published hardly available books from the library and wish it to go away.
Well, to stop my sarcasm, if nothing, this is why it would be important at least to choose with more care reliable ordination and dentists and this is why there is a reason for CEU to consider more carefully arrangements with potential private service providers for its students.
First visit with a toothache and 100 eur less
Now, this J+J (or JUST JUNK) ordination appears to be very nice. Is close to Astoria. If you compare it with other close by ordination it is cheaper, it is on 1st floor, number 16, very clean and confortable. Lady at the reception welcomes you, makes arrangements and it seems very nice. It appears that mostly women work there and all are young. For me as a feminist this is very pleasant to see that young women get their chances in the field in which women usually have to perform their serving roles as assistants. So I did not have any negative prejudice towards woman, the doctor.
First I explained what is going on and since I was worried about this I told her I have 100 eur maximum to spend. She looked at the tooth and said I need a filling. Which filling? She offered the special one, which is apparently the one which would cost exactly that amount. Ok. I asked if this will resolve all my problems? She said yes. It will even be more durable and longer to last then ordinary one. Ok. So I did not ask which other fillings there are. This was supposed to resolve all my problems. When it was done she actually said that if I feel that the filling is maybe too high I should come to cut it a bit. She did not mention that this or any other consultation would maybe be additionally charged. I paid for the filling and left.
Second visit still with a toothache and 100 eur less
But after month and a half or so I started to fill the pain again. I did not have any more money, but I did not even think I would need it. I had to go back and ask her to check what is going on. She looked at me for two seconds, said that “sometimes it happens that the nerve gets inflamed and the tooth was cut deep so it must have happened”. She recommended that I should wait for a month. If it does not stop I should come back to do the “root canal” procedure.
Ok, I was a bit surprised and worried about this. I tried not to think about my uneasiness of not being informed this might happen, and I actually did not know what that means “root canal” . I thought that this means to cut a bit deeper and clean the tooth more, I was not sure, but also not confortable of asking anything. That was really stupid not to ask anything it will show. She did not explain the procedure. Price was not mentioned. I left.
Third visit with a toothache, 100 eur less and to pay 150 eur more
I waited. After some time, maybe another month. I made another appointment. This time I had to wait for four hours (!) since she was stuck with some patient. Only after waiting for an hour or more after my scheduled time for which I politely, stupidly calmly, and again not asking any questions, was sitting and waiting, she decided to tell receptionists to inform me that there will be a further delay(!). I had to spend that additional time doing nothing for I did not plan to spend my whole day outside! I lost that day and for a student that is a lot.
Finally when I came into the office she looked at me again for 2 seconds. She then said if it still hurts there is no other solution but to take the nerve out. That would cost another 150 eur!
Now you can imagine my surprise. First I realized what actually “root canal” meant. And I realized after already giving them 100 eur to get rid of the pain, I have to give them another 150 eur! Then I was thinking wait, wait….I rewind things. I asked if the filling will resolve the pain. She said yes. She never informed me that something like inflammation can happen. Maybe I am rather uninformed and stupid not to have thought about medical complications which she was obliged to inform me about and did not. Maybe I was rather stupid to trust to the doctor indeed. If I have known something like this might happen I might not make the decision I made , but the point is, I could not have informed consent. Of course this happens in my head I am confused and I tell her I need first to see if I even have that money. She looks nervous and very disinterested and actually, after me waiting for 4 hours and being there for 2 minutes, that in this case “I should go out and check since many patients are waiting”. I was without words, feeling as a piece on a tread mill on which she was supposed to do her mechanical thing, but which is actually now obstructing the assembly line, I just picked my stuff and left.
While going back home I felt very objectified, but more than anything I became very suspicious. First I started to question how it happens that the price was exactly 100 eur which I told them is the max I have on me. I was not informed about other less expensive fillings.
So you should be smarter and know that J+J that is JUST JUNK will market the most expensive thing they have or what they think you can afford. Why would they do otherwise? Their primary interest is to extract from you the most they can to gain bigger profit. The fact that you are poor and student and that they are wearing white coats does not mean shit.
Second, JUST +JUNK will also not bother to inform you about the potential complications which might of course become costly for you and which you might not afford and might put you in debt. Since why would they? If any such thing happens they might get more money. So they just might not say anything if you do not ask them directly and not in the stupid foolish way “will the pain go away”. “Yes”, they will say. The fact that it might come back will not be mentioned. Your stupidity to trust white coats to have your best interest in account is foolish. Your foolishness will cost you. And they profit from your foolish trust.
I walked feeling angry for being humiliated, misinformed, manipulated and used, but most of all helpless and worried knowing that I have no money for this additional intervention and also thinking how I would like some second opinion. I did not want my nerve to be taken out. I heard bad things about this procedure and potential harm which again (! ) this doctor did not inform me about.
Fourth visit with a toothache, without 100 eur, to pay 150 eur, and some more
Some time passed since I managed to collect some money. I left for the fourth time and asked to be scheduled with another doctor. I specified two times this. And the women at the reception opened the file which I could not see, asked me “you want to change the doctor?”. I said “yes”, I wanted second opinion and I was bound to this ordination since they do not bring back the money even though there is a guarantee on the filling. She said “ok”.
When I came there was again the old doctor.
So another lesson is in this J+J that is JUST + JUNK ordination they do not listen to you. They do not care about what you have to say, what are your needs, nor about your time. For the money you pay you might as well go somewhere where they will at least able to schedule you correctly.
So, I entered at the office and again without any niceties from the door she started informing me that last two times when I was there, i did not pay for consultation when I left (!) , basically I run away, so I have to pay for that and for this third time.
Another lesson, you are not a person at J+J Dent that is JUST +JUNK . You are a money milking machine. If you do not work as planned they will kick you immediately to make you spit that cash out.
First I got angry for being scheduled with her, second about her being again impolite, and third about them wanting to extract money after not even informing me that when I came after their first time to (unsuccessfully) help me counts as a consultation which has to be paid!
So you have to realize that there is nothing you can assume will be free for private practice. Not even when they screw up and promise they will fix things.
So she mentioned that it’s not about her wanting me to pay, but her boss . These are the rules.
Well then, finally I said first that I will not pay for this third meeting since they misscheduled me and we actually talk nothing about my medical issues but some fees I allegedly have to pay. I told her that nobody informed me that I have to pay them at all, and that I would like to see her boss.
I regret now I did not go to her boss the first time when I realized she did not inform me about things.
At J+J that is JUST + JUNK you would need to worry all the time if you are not informed and to fight for the decent treatment for which you actually already paid for. So it does not pay off.
I spoke with the boss. Again. Young women. She was usually managerial, apologetic, but not really. Did not seem to care much about the idea that doctors have to inform patients about potential complications, it seems actually as new information to her, but more likely the idea that some patients seems to care about being informed was the news.
At J+J that is JUST JUNK, they do not hold high this value of informed consent, as I said.
She did not see anything special in the fact that I had to wait for four hours last time. Actually wrongly presumed I did not schedule, trying to find reasons why I might be wrong to be angry. Neither did the fact that I was wrongly scheduled too surprising or a big thing for her, since somehow the girl at the reception “probably just got confused”. Yes. “After I specified two times and she asked me if I want to change the doctor”, I said. (That was like 3 sentences to exchange). She offered me to find another slot tomorrow.
Again, for J+J or JUST JUNK, you will be treated as such as will your time which is rather expendable.
I told her that I just spend one hour traveling for no good reason, I waited for four hours last time and if she would please see if another doctor is available. From some reason it did not occur to her she might do that on her own.
At J+J or JUST JUNK nothing which might come as your better interest comes to their mind.
She was defending in every case her employees and trying to find excuses. At the end she finally said I do not have to pay for what they see as consultations and found me a new doctor.
Angry, I got to another office. The doctor wanted to do the x-ray. 2000 huf more.
Of course, at the J+J that is JUST +JUNK you will always have another unplanned expense.
Ok. On the X-ray nothing major. The nerve does not appear to be inflamed. Still I feel the pain. I do not want to mess with my nerve. So she at the end polished a bit high filling and said to wait a bit more and if nothing I should come and pay 150 eur for extraction of the nerve. Period. I left just wanting to get the hell out of there, and even forgot to ask for my x-ray which they did not even bother to give it to me after I paid for it.
And there at J+J or JUST JUNK for your money you do not get anything.
Conclusion is simple: If you do want to be disrespected, bamboozled, taken for a money milking idle cow, deprived of the possibility to give informed consent, spend your time on nothing and still leave with pain, go ahead and have an experience with these empowered nice young educated women doing business.