My doctor referred me to a specialist, and wrote the telephone number down on the form (hofnayah) required for the consultation. I called the number which was at the local Maccabi Kupat Cholim (Health Fund) building in Netanya. There were many options, but eventually I managed to get a human, only to be told that they could not make an appointment for me, I had to call the general Maccabi number that is a national number. I called that number and once again there were many choices, not knowing which one to try I opted to wait for an operator. When I spoke to one she told me that she could not make an appointment for that doctor, I had to call the local Maccabi office in Netanya. She gave me the number, which was the first number I had called.
I called that number again and was told once again to call the general number, but I insisted that they had told me they couldn’t make an appointment for that doctor. So she went off the line, and then came back and said she couldn’t help me. So I realized that it was impossible to actually make an appointment for that specialist. So I called my doctor’s clinic and explained the problem to them and they gave me the specialist’s private clinic number. I called the private number and spoke to his secretary and she called the doctor and he was angry with me for calling him, but I explained that it was impossible to make an appointment with him. He said that he could not make an appointment and all I had to do was call the local Maccabi number and he hung up.
So at this point I decided to take direct action, I went to the clinic and to the appropriate floor and asked the secretary to make an appointment for that specialist for me and she said she could not, I would have to call the general number. At this point I got angry and told her that neither the general number nor the local number could make appointments for me, and she had to do it. She was actually the local number, so I asked her to call the general number and confirm for herself. She did this and they told her that they can’t make appointments for that doctor. So she relented and gave me an appointment, in three months time. By then I’ll either be dead or better. At least this is an excellent way for the Maccabi Health Fund to save money.