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 centre specifically for internationals, and that they were looking for internationals to help them think through the services of the health care centre, 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.
I joined a panel of people from different cultural and educational backgrounds. While everyone had their own expectations, experiences and ideas, we saw that we had several shared issues. SGE were very open and facilitated the dialogue well, taking all our suggestions on board. 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 have a very positive impression of the services. This gives me confidence in our new health centre.
Arsylia Giaramazidi (Greece)