Zollikerberg Hospital in Zurich Switzerland

Zolilkerberg Hospital in Zurich

Today I decided to do something* a bit different: HOSPITAL REVIEW!

I happened to experience a stay at the hospital not long after I arrived in Zurich, in October 2014, so how about sharing how it was?

Why did I go to hospital?

I got pneumonia. It’s very hard to figure out how or why you get pneumonia. It’s my second time and doctors say it’s quite unusual for a healthy relatively young person like me. In fact I don’t tick any of those risk factors for pneumomia:

Two age groups at highest risk are:

  • Children who are 2 years old or younger developing
  • People who are age 65 or older

Other risk factors include:

  • Chronic disease. You’re more likely to get pneumonia if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart disease.
  • Weakened or suppressed immune system. People who have HIV/AIDS, who’ve had an organ transplant, or who receive chemotherapy or long-term steroids are at risk.
  • Smoking. Smoking damages your body’s natural defenses against the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia. Vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking based on their extensive research. Since there’s no combustion, tar or ash associated with vaping, switching to it from smoking enables the user to experience health benefits from being smoke-free. That means better oral hygiene, skin health, circulation, lung capacity and an improved sense of smell and taste. When it comes to flavors, there are virtually endless options to choose in premium e-liquid.
  • Being hospitalized. You’re at greater risk of pneumonia if you’re in a hospital intensive care unit, especially if you’re on a machine that helps you breathe (a ventilator).
  • Being exposed to chemicals and that I realised it might have been the case when I wrote my 2015 Health resolutions.

Here are a few thoughts about what could have caused pneumonia:

  • General weakness around my upper respiratory system. I know I go down with a cough when I’m under stress, when I spend too much time in air con, when I drink a bit much, when I spend the night at the pub having to talk louder and finishing the night at Karaoke
  • Lung imbalance based on Chinese Medicine principles. I figures that out when I had  chonical coughs that no western upper respiratory specialist in Sydney could solve but that either Chinese pills or acupuncture managed to solve.
  • Strong emotions. One of my best friend pointed out that each organ is associated to an emotion. Lung is related to sadness and she thought perhaps I had been trying too hard to be  strong and not let anything out to protect my family and the kids in particular. But deep inside I guess I was really side to leave my friends, work and 12 years of amazing life style.

The emotional cause sounds like the main one for me. Once in hospital I didn’t get better for the first 3 days and the medical team was a bit worried. Then I got a painful needle and started crying. I cried the whole day, thinking back of all what I had left behind and what I was going to do with my new life. Then I started to see clearer and have ideas. From that day my health got better and I was out after 6 days.

Zolilkerberg Hospital in Zurich Switzerland

Why did we choose Zollikerberg hospital?

It all happened on the day we received our container from Sydney. We had had settled the kids at school, found a long term place to stay, all was ticking along well including our belonging ready to fit in our new place. That’s when your adrenaline level drops and, you get weaker and vulnerable to the smallest thing. I got a cold and it turned into high fever, impossibility to get out of bed and blood in mucus and urine. I told my husband: that’s it, we need to go to the emergencies.

Hubby googled hospital around us and decided Zollikerberg was the closest. When we arrived there, it was a modern brand new building, wide but not tall with lots of glass windows. We parked in front and followed the emergencies sign. It was quiet, in fact the emergency waiting room was completely empty! We buzzed and a nurse came in, put us in one of the consultation room and we were looked after very quickly. Blood sample, urine sample and X ray were taken promptly, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and was admitted into hospital for several days treatment.

Luxurious rooms and premises

Lucky we had subscribed to an international health insurance with maximum coverage so I was comfortable going for a single room. Oh my, this is spacious and luxurious like a 5 star hotel! The room had a flat screen that you could watch from your bed of from a separate table and chair. There was a balcony over looking the forest and the small park downstairs for you to take some fresh air.

Bath amenities were great with good quality individual shower gel and shampoo and plush fresh white towels.

Zolilkerberg Hospital in Zurich Switzerland

The food

I was really impressed with the menu: a la carte menu plus daily suggestions including cured salmon sashimi style, fish in a white wine sauce, red meat like tender and juicy lamb or beef steak, various soups, white and red wine etc…Each day a lady with a whole laptop would come to take my order for the following day’s 3 meals! So when all my friends asked “how was the food” expecting some ranting and complaining I beamed and said: it was fantastic!

The medical team

Very good team, they could speak fluent English and French, very clear in the way they explain what the find, why you are given certain treatment and so on. I was 100% confident. However they could not explain why that was happening to me and how to prevent it. When I talked about acupuncture and prevention through Chinese medicine they didn’t get it at all. Funny huh?

The cost

15,000 CHF (1 euro – 1 CHF nowadays) for 6 days. Yup 5 star service and accommodation has a price. Better make sure you have good health insurance.

Other hospitals I tried:

It’s not really a good thing but I’ve experienced a couple of hospitals around the world, fortunately they were all pretty nice and I’m quite grateful to our international health insurance MSH International:

  • Raffles Hospital, Singapore
    • checked in for my first pneumonia in 2006
    • LOVED the daily meal system: for each meal you had 5 options to choose from: Chinese, Malay, Indian, Western or Vegeterian
  • North Shore Private hospital, Sydney Australia
    • checked in to give birth ion 2008 and 2011
    • LOVED the lobby and 5 start hotel feel, LOVED the Intensive Care Unit team who looked after my son who was premature, LOVED how they spend the time to show you how to breastfeed, bathe your baby and how they can look after your baby and let you rest when you need them to

Bit sad I know that many hospitals so well, but you know me, happy to turn everything into positive so I can share the inside scoop about a hospital in Zurich (or I would have had to have a third baby but that’s not an option)!

* I’m also trying out the heading formatting so let me know if you find the paragraph headers are a bit too big

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