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 healthcare 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.
I have not yet used SGE International because I have been with my doctor for a long time and am satisfied with him. I was involved on the Panel to help newcomers to Eindhoven. That said, I would feel confident going to SGE International and would definitely recommend it to others.
Hamid Reza Amir Ahmadi (Iran)