Fees when changing the pediatrician

I am considering changing our pediatrician. He is a good one, but takes a lot of holidays, so we frequently have to wait for a month for an exam.

I know the old pediatrician needs to send kid's documents to the new doctor. Any idea how much would we pay in fees for this and would basic insurance cover part of it?

No, this is not automatic. A doctor may send the file to another doctor only at the patient's request or at least with the patient's permission.

Better, though: you have a right to own your own (or in this case your child's) full medical record. Therefore, you can ask the current doctor for a copy of the entire contents of the file they hold on the patient, including all reports, tests conducted, results, imaging, referrals, simply everything. All doctors are bound by law to give you this.

It must be for free, unless it involves a particularly large amount of extra work, for example if a doctor had already copied everything and given it to the patient, who then lost it and asked for it all again. Although I've heard that the doctor could charge a nominal fee, say Fr. 50, for the administrative work of the practice assistant who makes the photocopies or who sends everything to the patient electronically, I've never actually known of a doctor to do this.

For the future, it's a good idea to collect all the medical reports as one goes along, to compile your own file, so that you always have everything at your fingertips.

The new doctor will charge a fee for opening the file of a new patient, but this is standard and covered by the basic medical insurance.

If it's just a case of sending the file to the new doctor then there shouldn't be a charge. When we moved, the previous doc sent it to the new one with no issue. You have to tell them to do it, though. They won't do it without your explicit instruction.

We recently had to have a doctor here send files to our son's normal pediatrician, and it was all just put on a USB stick for us to pick up from their office. I would hope they wouldn't charge you for such a thing, apart from perhaps the cost of a USB stick.

We never got charged anything extra for this...just informed the old Paediatrician that we were changing. I think both times that the printed documents were physically picked up by us and taken to the new doctor, no questions asked. We just let the old doctor know what was happening, and requested the files.

The only thing may be to book in a 'longer' appointment with your new doctor to discuss any background/history and any questions you may have....

Also: as the practices are so often full, I hope you've been accepted in the new practice before you move from the first.

Another aspect: some medical insurance plans require you to see only their pre-approved doctors, so that's worth checking if you're not already insured such that you can choose freely.

I had an opthalmologist (whom I had seen twice) who wanted to charge me CHF 70 to transfer my files. I told him to forget it.

I left because both times I went, I had had to wait over 40 minutes past my allotted appointment to see him. The third time, when I got to 1h20, I walked out without seeing him. My time is valuable too, and he was clearly too busy counting his money...