The way it works in Israel is that you belong to a Kupat Holim (Sick Fund) and go to see your doctor and he then gives you a permission form or referral (hofnayah) to have a specific procedure or test, such as a blood-test, X-ray or in my case an ultra-sound. In this case it was my ENT specialist that gave me a hofnaya for an ultra-sound test. I called the number on the form and made an appointment, it took nearly a month. Today was the day for the test, so I was walking to the Maccabi clinic, a brand-new impressive building about 10 mins walk from home, and when I got half-way I realized that I had forgotten to take the hofnaya. Since this tells the technician or doctor what is needed, I decided to walk back home and get it.
When I arrived home I could not find it, I searched everywhere and I was getting frantic because it was nearly the time for my appointment. So I gave up, but suddenly thought, “Oh, I go by my doctor’s office, so I can pop in and ask them for a copy.” So I left home again and was walking there, when I remembered that the hofnaya was given to me by the ENT doctor and not my family physician, and his office is miles away and he is there only 1 day a week. So I decided to continue to the clinic and tell them the problem. When I got there my presence for the test was registered in the computer using my magnetic card. But, the lady at the desk told me that they could not give me the test without the hofnaya, and she directed me to the main office upstairs. At the office the clerk checked my file in the computer and told me there was no copy of the hofnaya there; if there was she could give me a copy, but since there was none she could not. She checked the ENT doctor’s office and found that he was not there then, so she said she would call my family physician, and she put me through to them. At first they said “no problem”, but then they came back on-line and said there was no hofnaya in the computer and they couldn’t issue one. It seems that for ultra-sounds tests, unlike other tests, there is no copy in the computer. Which bureaucrat decided this!
So I went back down to the ultra-sound department and told them it was not possible to get a copy of the hofnaya, and the clerk told me “too bad” and she suggested I go home and search for it again. It was already past the time for my test, but she said don’t worry if you find it I’ll fit you in, otherwise you’ll have to wait another month. So I walked home again, sweating, and this time I decided to search thoroughly and carefully, and sure enough after 5 mins I found the missing hofnaya attached under another piece of paper in the big pile on my desk. So this time I went back by car, parked and raced upstairs. Everyone knew that I was the person who had lost his hofnaya, and they all smiled at me. They were very helpful and within 5 mins I was taken in, had the test, and was out again.
So let this be a lesson to you (and me), never lose your hofnaya, especially if its for an ultra-sound test. I should point out that I was in a hurry so that I could watch Federer play at the French Open tennis tournament. Also, Wozniacki, No. 1 in the world in women’s tennis, was playing Wozniak (I am not making this up). The former is Danish and the latter is Canadian, and they are both of Polish origin. Federer and Wozniacki won as expected.