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Cyprus Eastern Forum Index » Doctors / Hospitals / Health & Medicines » Necessity to speak Greek?
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Necessity to speak Greek? 
Post: #1   PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:42 pm Reply with quote
MarsdenCuckoo
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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Location: Cornwall (& Larnaca occasionally!)

 
Was saddened to hear recently that an elderly friend, widowed recently after living in Cyprus for over 20 years, having sought medical treatment via the Government hospital (and diagnosed after an MRI scan as having Parkinsons Disease) was told that any further consultations would only be conducted in Greek..... She does not speak Greek, nor has the aptitude - obviously - to now learn it!

Could the Dr have been joking (my friend did not take it as a joke) or has anyone else had a similar experience? Question

Christine
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Need to speak Greek ? 
Post: #2   PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:33 am Reply with quote
Hatzy
Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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Location: Larnaca

 
Hi MarsdenCuckoo,

No not necessary. Friends of mine in Paphos had Parkinsons, and couldn't speak Greek. His consultant was bi-lingual and he was in excellent care.

It might be that the consultant in the hospital that your friend visited, and to whom her Dr would refer her to could not speak English.

Ask that she be referred to another hospital where the consultant can communicate with her.

We each have a voice. She can but ask.

Of course it would be curtious (sp) if foreign nationals could learn the language, or make an effort to - I don't mean your friend - just generally.

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Post: #3   PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:20 pm Reply with quote
MarsdenCuckoo
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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Location: Cornwall (& Larnaca occasionally!)

 
Thanks for the reply, Hatzy. Not sure if a choice of consultants is an option at the Government Hospital... (Unfortunately, my friend is not in a position to choose/pay for a private consultant.)

Agree with you about learning the local language and after so long she has picked up a few words along the way but, obviously, when it comes to specialised health issues then she's at a total loss re. the vocabulary. I just found it extremely sad that in her circumstances an educated professional, speaking both Greek and English fluently, should make such a comment to her. Evil or Very Mad

Christine
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Re: Necessity to speak Greek? 
Post: #4   PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:47 pm Reply with quote
don
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I am so sorry for your friend but find it very hard to believe that the doctor could not speak English? I have never ever met with a GC or TC doctor who could not speak English, they can speak English better than most Brits I know which makes this case all the more strange.
MarsdenCuckoo wrote:
Was saddened to hear recently that an elderly friend, widowed recently after living in Cyprus for over 20 years, having sought medical treatment via the Government hospital (and diagnosed after an MRI scan as having Parkinsons Disease) was told that any further consultations would only be conducted in Greek..... She does not speak Greek, nor has the aptitude - obviously - to now learn it!

Could the Dr have been joking (my friend did not take it as a joke) or has anyone else had a similar experience? Question

Christine
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Post: #5   PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:05 pm Reply with quote
MarsdenCuckoo
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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Location: Cornwall (& Larnaca occasionally!)

 
That's exactly the point, don; the doctor could speak perfect English but made the comment that if she returned he would only treat her if she spoke to him in Greek!

To anyone, who's been given bad news re. their health then such a comment adds additional - unnecessary - stress. My friend is actually now looking at returning to the UK albeit she would prefer to stay in Cyprus. Makes me wonder if there is some sort of underlying message i.e. "Brits Go Home"? Sorry, but have also come across other examples of Brits being offered less favourable terms than Cypriots (have posted in the Legal Section) and when you put everything together then .....

Christine
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Post: #6   PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:51 pm Reply with quote
Christo
Joined: 15 Nov 2008
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Location: Larnaca

 
MarsdenCuckoo wrote:
That's exactly the point, don; the doctor could speak perfect English but made the comment that if she returned he would only treat her if she spoke to him in Greek!


Christine,
firstly, sorry your friend is suffering so.

Is there even the remotest chance that the Doc was trying to be humorous? Albeit in bad taste, but perhaps he was trying to make light of the situation, cheer her up? Was you there when the comment was made?

I am not taking "sides" just that us Cypriots have a strange sense of humour.

Chris

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Post: #7   PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:37 pm Reply with quote
MarsdenCuckoo
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
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Location: Cornwall (& Larnaca occasionally!)

 
Hi Chris,

No I wasn't there - hence my question as to whether anyone else has come across the same thing.

My friend is in her 70's; had horrendous problems sorting out probate after her husband died a few years ago; doesn't drive so is very much dependent on others.....

Can understand the concept of the benefits/courtesy re. speaking the local lingo but I really was surprised to hear that a member of the supposed caring profession was so lacking in the fundamentals of understanding as to the vulnerability of my friend and how his comments added to her discomfort. Sorry, but 'sense of humour' doesn't really have a place in this scheme of things...... or does it?

Christine
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Post: #8   PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:51 pm Reply with quote
Kwacka
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MarsdenCuckoo wrote:

Can understand the concept of the benefits/courtesy re. speaking the local lingo but I really was surprised to hear that a member of the supposed caring profession was so lacking in the fundamentals of understanding as to the vulnerability of my friend and how his comments added to her discomfort. Sorry, but 'sense of humour' doesn't really have a place in this scheme of things...... or does it?


it's been estimated that about 25% of conversation is the actual words spoken, the other 75% is 'non-verbal elements of speech'.

Exactly the same words spoken in a different tone of voice, or with a different facial expression.

It might well be that your friend, already being in a situation where she is feeling anxious, mis-interpreted something the doctor said. Alternatively it might be that this particular doctor is an idiot - there's no way we can tell.

If he were being serious, what would this rule do to the tourist trade?

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Post: #9   PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 3:20 pm Reply with quote
MarsdenCuckoo
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 663
Pictures: 0
Location: Cornwall (& Larnaca occasionally!)

 
Good point, Kwacka; it may be simply that she took the comment the wrong way. Glad to see from other members' comments that it seems that she's no need to worry about him being serious (or if he was then she needs someone with her for support when she goes back as he can't enforce such a standpoint).

Thanks to everyone for your input.

Christine
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Necessity to speak Greek? 
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