Anyway, a few years ago, we used to have annual check-ups at AMETRA, a national association that specialises in work-place health. It used to be a legal requirement to have an annual check-up by a doctor, with a preliminary consultation with a nurse who asked us questions about our workplace, made us pee into a cup and passed us on to the doc.
Then, we stopped getting summoned to AMETRA, and no one cared a jot about our health for three years. THREE! So naturally, we didn't get the invoice for services non-rendered, right? Wrong! There it was, every year, a bill for 2500Eur or so. For nothing.
In the end, I complained. I was told that the company was having problems (no kidding!), and they were restructuring. Fine, I said, but why are you still invoicing us, and can we stop paying? Of course not! If you don't pay AMETRA you get into all sorts of trouble, a bit like with the impôts. It turns out that it's obligatory for us to pay, but if they can't deliver a service, we can't complain.
So I complained again, and looked around for another provider. There isn't one. They have us by the short and curlies, as it were, and as with any totalitarian state worth the name, you
Eventually, a service was resumed, of sorts. They had worked out their little problems, and the status of our health was to be checked again, but now every two years instead of annually. Was there a change in the invoice? Of COURSE, it was split in two!!
We were sent convocations. We all went to see the nurse and then the doc. The nurse did not ask us to pee into a little cup. Pee's off, but there was no change in the invoice.
When I went to see the doc, she asked me lots of questions, checked my sight and took my blood pressure. She asked me what I had for brekkie (I can't remember how it came up), and I said I had a boiled egg every day. Horrified, she told me that I was eating WAY too many eggs, and that I should have no more than two per week. I tried to tell her that there were new guidelines, but she was having none of it.
I don't think she does much revision at home...
When I got back to work, I forwarded a mail to her from a reputable source stating that eggs were good and we could eat two per day with no problem. No need to thank me (she didn't).
A few months later we got another letter from AMETRA. From now on, when we get the summons to go every two years, one year in two we'll see just the nurse, so we'll only see a doc every four years. Is there a change in the invoice? Yeah, right.
So there you have it. A flagrant lowering of standards for absolutely no discernable benefit to the customer. Welcome to the modern world.