Rebeca Guerra Martinez
“As a panel member I can honestly say SGE is really worried about closing the existing gap between the Dutch health care system and the expectations internationals have about it. They are actually trying -and succeeding- to meet the needs of internationals in regards with health. SGE is trying to always stay a step ahead related to international’s expectations. Of course it could be very convenient to have an SGE pharmacy in the same building or have dental services in the same place. But I think all internationals know that will take a time and I’m quite confident the center will eventually get there.”
As a patient she would like to highlight her experience with SGE because, this never happened with any of the other two GP’s she had in the Netherlands. “Something I find very reassuring which makes me feel very comfortable is the fact that whenever I have had to make an appointment to meet the doctor, I didn’t have to remind her of any particularities about my medical file for she remembered them and took everything into account when giving me instructions or prescribing medication.”
She continues: “I think the future of SGE is both challenging and rewarding because the international community in Eindhoven is growing at a fast pace. I strongly believe, that as long as SGE stays committed to “closing the gap” between reality and expectations of both, the health system and the international community, a great future lies ahead for both parties.”
Reffat Ara Segufa
“Before coming to the Netherlands two years ago, I practiced as a medical doctor in my home country of Bangladesh. I am currently doing my Masters’ at Leiden. I am very pleased to have been, and still be, involved in the dialogue with SGE on setting up a new health care center for internationals.
My experiences on the panel are very positive. All its members give input that SGE can act upon. SGE takes all our points on board. The communication on the panel is open and we all share ideas and information. We are regularly asked for our ideas on improving the International Health Care Center and I am pleased to contribute to building a center that not only provides good health care services to its clients, but does so in a common language. This in itself will bring comfort to internationals and, in particular, newcomers.”
“When I moved to the Netherlands from Greece about four years ago, I knew that it takes time to find your feet in a new country and understand how things work. One of the challenges was dealing with an unfamiliar health care system. I wanted to make it easier for other newcomers, so when I heard that there was a group of people who wanted to set up a health care center specifically for internationals, and that they were looking for internationals to help them think through the services of the health care center, I volunteered my input. SGE were sincere in their wish to hear the experiences of internationals as this would help them create a health service that met the expectations of the internationals.
We met in working groups with SGE, it was a very hands-on process, so every time we met we could see that progress had been made. In the year that I was on the panel, I saw our expectations turned into reality. Since then, I have met with my doctor at SGE International and I have a very positive impression of the services.”
Hamid Reza Amir Ahmadi
“I moved to the Netherlands in 2001 and currently work for an industrial machine manufacturer in Eindhoven. As I have been here for quite a while, I do not consider myself an expat anymore, even though I have strong connections to the Eindhoven expat community. One of the things newcomers notice immediately is the difference between the medical worlds in their new and original countries. I see the difficulties that people face. This is why I volunteered to be on the Panel when I heard that SGE was planning to do a study into expats’ perceptions of the health care system. The Panel got going within a few months. The attitude of the organisers was crucial.
They listened to everyone’s input seriously, even when it was negative. They took the comments on board and tried to define them clearly so that concrete changes could eventually be made. Sometimes they explained how the system worked, but their attitude was never that newcomers just have to get used to it. The whole process was a mutual learning process for both the panellists and SGE.”