Second-O or a second opinion from a different doctor
The patient decides!
Does my specialist see it as a sign of mistrust when I want to consult another doctor with a different point of view? Let us not beat around the bush: yes, it is possible. But even in that case, it is that doctor’s problem and not your problem as a patient.
It may be useful to know a second opinion. Therefore, the health service offers this plan under the name Second-O.
Talking to an advising medical officer, people often say: “My regular doctor cannot know that I've been to another doctor - do not write that in your report.” You should know that, as a patient, you decide for yourself whether or not you have an open relationship with your doctor. But it is clear that you have everything to gain from a good and trusted relationship with your medical practitioner. Nevertheless, we think that medical advisors still have the duty to point out that patients can seek a second opinion, if they desire to, before deciding on taking a medical treatment. The time in which the doctor decided what would happen with you, is over. Indeed, decisions are taken in mutual agreements, in which the patient has the last word.
The second advice that you can get using Second-O, is fed back to your original doctor.
Doctors can advise patients to take a second opinion. Do they actually do that?
Yes, this regularly happens and it is important. Everybody agrees the advice of a person with a different point of view can really help.
If you question a treatment that your doctor prescribes, or you are not convinced of all of his arguments, best is to get a second opinion. Eventually, as a patient you have the power to decide what is going to happen, whether or not you accept specifics, whether or not you choose a kind of treatment… You must therefore be well informed. If you feel uncertain about a proposed solution, keep seeking information until you are convinced. The choice is often of high importance, comparable to decisions about the usage of chemotherapy, chest amputation, or eye surgery.
You will make the choice, especially if the first and the second opinion are not equal. Your general practitioner can probably help you with that.
The procedure of Second-O fits in the efforts of strengthening the voice of the patient.
For what kind of problems or incidents is a second opinion advised?
That is your decision as a patient. The patient more and more gains empowerment, which in this case means he gains ability to decide about himself and his treatment. A part of that is the search for information, for example a second opinion. Therefore the procedure for Second-O also fits in this gain of empowerment of the patient.
Do medical problems occur so frequently that ‘a second opinion’ became a priority in the medical service?
Although you can’t say there is a problem with the medical service actually, you do see a market development to organize the offer of a second opinion. In the commercial medical sector you can already buy a second opinion. Our Second-O procedure has even more to offer: the second opinion that you get will be fed back to your treating doctor; instead of having the opinion of some or other (often foreign) specialist dropped in your mailbox. We have sufficient knowledge and excellent medical skills in Belgium. Therefore Second-O chose to work with the University Hospital in Leuven (aka Gasthuisberg), as it has a big network of specialists to engage in the whole of Flanders.
Is Second-O an additional asset to use in promotional information and advertising for health insurance?
Yes, if it is a good and serviceable product, why wouldn’t it be? But the benefit for advertising has never been considered in the preparation and installation of Second-O as an offer.
Voordelen van Second-O
• You will receive advice from independent top specialists in their fields, selected based on their expertise regarding your condition.