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SoCalMark

St. Lukes is Full of Tae!

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I have had two experiences with St. Lukes and their so-called accurate x-rays. I have come to the conclusion that 90% of all their required sputum exams are nothing but a ploy to get extra money from American fiancée's and husbands.

After my wife went through the horrid sputum exam on both her K-1 and her I-130 and they made her wait the 60 days -- When she arrived here in the United States a REAL doctor checked those x-rays of her out and she had independent exams. Not once was TB or any scarring present in her system. There needs to be a checks and balances for the Philippines denying so many girls their positive exam results. I have heard of the same rip-off from many of the pinay after they arrive here for their full physical exam.

The idiots at St. Lukes are just another reason why people distrust the Philippines government so much. If you get one of these sputum exam holds then I would say that your fiancée / wife is most likely 99.9% without problems.

05-K1-Medical-Exam-at-SLEC_www.mrspresso

Edited by SoCalMark

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... very possible... but the hard reality is... SLEC is in the chain of "gods" that control this whole adventure... sort of like "fighting city hall". Plus I think SLEC errors on the side of caution to keep CDC happy.

Does SLEC charge an extra fee to complete the SPUTUM testing?

As for the rip-off by a civil surgeon for a 2nd medical exam; reality is the K-1 doesn't need to go to a civil surgeon at all (99% of the time, certain cases with noted medical conditions are required), only a copy of the DSD-3025 is required for AOS - per the I-485 instructions, page 4, section 7c. ;)


Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

 

HandArrow.gif       Visa Process at USEM for the Philippines;  https://www.visaconnection-philippines.com/us-embassy-usem.html

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I have had two experiences with St. Lukes and their so-called accurate x-rays. I have come to the conclusion that 90% of all their required sputum exams are nothing but a ploy to get extra money from American fiancée's and husbands.

After my wife went through the horrid sputum exam on both her K-1 and her I-130 and they made her wait the 60 days -- When she arrived here in the United States a REAL doctor checked those x-rays of her out and she had independent exams. Not once was TB or any scarring present in her system. There needs to be a checks and balances for the Philippines denying so many girls their positive exam results. I have heard of the same rip-off from many of the pinay after they arrive here for their full physical exam.

The idiots at St. Lukes are just another reason why people distrust the Philippines government so much. If you get one of these sputum exam holds then I would say that your fiancée / wife is most likely 99.9% without problems.

05-K1-Medical-Exam-at-SLEC_www.mrspresso

Hey Mark. I guess you're in So. Cal as well. Question? My wife and her daughter need to get their vaccinations done. Does St. Lukes do that as well? Or should we be looking for a clinic of some sort to get the vaccinations done prior to they going for their medical exam?

2nd.....do we need to wait for our package to arrive from NVC to the Manila U.S. embassy to go & get the medical exam done? Do they have to send us a checklist? Or can we just go now to get it out of the way?

Thanks in advance =))

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Hey Mark. I guess you're in So. Cal as well. Question? My wife and her daughter need to get their vaccinations done. Does St. Lukes do that as well? Or should we be looking for a clinic of some sort to get the vaccinations done prior to they going for their medical exam?

2nd.....do we need to wait for our package to arrive from NVC to the Manila U.S. embassy to go & get the medical exam done? Do they have to send us a checklist? Or can we just go now to get it out of the way?

Thanks in advance =))

vaccinations are included in the medical at St. Luke's


Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

 

HandArrow.gif       Visa Process at USEM for the Philippines;  https://www.visaconnection-philippines.com/us-embassy-usem.html

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My wife and 2 kids went through St Lukes and everybody came out clear. No extra tests required. I was there with them however, maybe that made a difference.

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Being sent to sputum does not mean you have TB. All it means is that the chest x-ray did not clear you of TB.

Chest X-rays have a lot of false positives, but they use them because most of the negatives get cleared, and it gets completed on the same day. If you are one of the unlucky false positives, then you get the real test, the one that is much more accurate, sputum, but that takes 60 days. Apparently, the sputum cleared your lady as evidenced by the fact that she got her visa. If sputum did not clear her, then she would have to do 6 months of DOT.

As far as St. Luke's making money, since the sputum and DOT are included in the base exam fee, how do you figure they are making money by not clearing you on day one with the chest x-ray?

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; reality is the K-1 doesn't need to go to a civil surgeon at all (99% of the time, certain cases with noted medical conditions are required), only a copy of the DSD-3025 is required for AOS - per the I-485 instructions, page 4, section 7c. ;)

Depends on the county you are living in sir ... we had to get cleared on this side of the Pacific :)


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Is St. Lukes a rip off in general , For Sure. But it part of the process.

I checked out St. Lukes last week, small little medical building charging U.S. prices for Philippines Services. For the little amount of service they provide I would think around $45 would be a fair price.

As far as reading X-Rays wrong, maybe it does happen. I personally wouldn't trust my dog to the Medical Services in the Philippines.

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Depends on the county you are living in sir ... we had to get cleared on this side of the Pacific :)

You are IR/CR-1 , I was referring to K-1 processing AOS, and then the exception is certain medical conditions.

Edited by Hank_

Hank

"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

 

 

HandArrow.gif       Visa Process at USEM for the Philippines;  https://www.visaconnection-philippines.com/us-embassy-usem.html

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As far as St. Luke's making money, since the sputum and DOT are included in the base exam fee, how do you figure they are making money by not clearing you on day one with the chest x-ray?

IF someone has to do DOT, the original medical exam will have expired upon completion of the treatment. You'll then be required for another medical exam and therefore pay for said exam. Is it fair to pay twice for the same exam? Not really, but at least the DOT iteslf is covered.

Edited by six7one

01/12/2013: POE
02/14/2013: MARRIED ON VALENTINE'S DAY!
03/18/2013: AOS Sent via USPS Express Mail
03/28/2013: NOA - AOS, AP, EAD
04/25/2013: Biometrics

05/28/2013: RFEs for EADs and APs

06/17/2013: AOS Interviews. Approved

06/26/2013: Green Cards Received! (APs and EAD also received but not needed)

Removal of Conditions

===================================

03/25/2015: Mailed I-751

04/06/2015: NOA1

05/05/2015: Biometrics

07/27/2015: RFE

09/07/2015: RFE Response - Additional Evidence Sent

11/19/2015: Interview - APPROVED!

12/15/2016: Green Cards Issued!

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Most medical offices around the world who do this exam price things a la carte. In other words, you pay for every shot you need as well as things like TB treatment.

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As a practicing physician to which someone earlier wouldn't trust their dog ;) , let me give you the perspective on the other side of the table.

Again, I'm petitioning my wife for an IR-1 visa, so know that we'll be going thru this in coming months as well.

A basic chest X-ray is a screening test for any lung infection, including TB. Unfortunately, you can get false positives from it. Anything from not inhaling fully to artifacts from the shot can affect the chest film. I'm not sure about how they do it at St Luke's but in my clinic, if there's a possible TB case on a basic frontal chest Xray, the next step would be to take what's called an Apico-Lordotic shot. The patient is positioned for a better, clearer view of the lung fields (especially the upper lungs). My clinic screens a lot of patients for pre-employment and that's usually the next step. Often times, the APL shot will clear a patient with a suspicious density on a basic PA-CXR. If the APL still shows a suspicious finding, then it's referral to our Pulmonologist, the AFB smear, and possible treatment. The AFB smear is the definitive test for TB. It's not done for everyone for obvious reasons. The X-ray is cheap, quick. But unfortunately, there will be false positives. AFB has a significantly smaller chance of having a false positive, but it takes a long time to get back.

Keep in mind also that TB is common in the Philippines. Very common. I have friends practicing in the States and in Europe who have and will never come across TB. Here, basically it's common enough among the population that if there's suspicion of TB, there's the mindset of mask up, isolate the patient until the labs clear the patient. So maybe that's one factor behind the increased frequency of followup labs.

Now, will St Luke's end up having people undergo the AFB when it's probably not necessary? Yes, they probably will. But remember, this is the US Embassy and the US Government we're talking about. Remember the stink that happened a few years back when that Yahoo with Multiple Drug Resistant TB getting on a plane in the States to get married in Greece? Well, imagine the shitstorm if more than a few TB cases that pop up in the US get traced back to St Lukes clearing them.

As with everything medical and related to possible unnecessary medical exams and procedures, it all comes down to liability. Basically, they're treating you as a US Physician would, calling for possibly unnecessary labs, because of fear of getting sued or losing their license/accreditation from the US Embassy and by extension the other embassies that have their medical thru St Lukes.

Personally, my wife (who's also an MD and carries that much more risk of exposure to a TB case) will probably have a baseline CXR, PA & Lateral & APL soon. And maybe an AFB since it's early yet just as an FU to St Luke's. Although hopefully once the staff at St Luke's finds out we're both MD's maybe they give us a pass as a courtesy. =)

Just my $0.02 as a Physician and a USC petitioning my wife for an IR-1.


"Ad Astra Per Aspera"

"Audentes Fortuna Adiuvat"

==========

Dec 11, 2014 - Filed I-130 via DCF @ US Embassy Manila (...and we're on the clock...) - Read about my experience filing DCF here > http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/527064-filed-dcf-i-130-for-ir-1-at-us-embassy-manila-aar/

Dec 11, 2014 - NOA1: Not sure what to put here, Dec 11, 2014, Dec 24, 2014 or something in between.

Dec 24, 2014 - NOA2: I called USCIS @ USEM on Jan 5, 2015 and was told the I-130 was approved on Christmas Eve. Thank you Santa!

Jan 13, 2015 - MNL Case Number & Packet 3 Received via email (I emailed the IV Unit-Manila requesting these on Jan 5, 2015 and Jan 12, 2015)

Jan 21, 2015 - NOA2: Mailed (via PhilPost!) paper/hard copy delivered to our place here in Manila.

Jan 22, 2015 - Packet 3: Mailed (again via PhilPost!) paper/hard copy delivered to out place here in Manila.

Feb 24 & 25, 2015 - Day 1 & Day 2 of Medical @ SLEC. Immunizations given on Day 2, thankfully

Mar 5, 2015 - USEM Interview Appointment - IR-1 Visa Approved! (CEAC Status updated to ISSUED afternoon of interview day)

Mar 10, 2015 - 3pm - Received SMS saying IV Package ready for pickup at 2GO MoA. Picked up at 5pm. (Shipped/Picked Up/In Hand on 3rd Business Day post interview)

Mar 13, 2015 - CFO Manila - Done

==========

Now disposing/selling/giving away/shipping to the US stuff from 14 years in the PHL and 4 years together before heading to POE.

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Thank you, doctor, on behalf of all of us. Makes sense to me that St; Luke's will protect the money they are getting from consulate medical exams first and put patient care in the back seat.

But I wonder why they don't do the secondary, more effective x-ray you mentioned before diving head first into sputum? They don't get extra money from the sputum, so the cheapest way to clear an applicant that is still effective should be what they want to do.

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off topic but... natawa ako sa title, hahaha


K1 Timeline:

02/28/2014 - I-129F Submitted
04/08/2014 - I-129F NOA2 Received

07/03/2014 - SLEC Medical Appointment 1 (Result: Sputum Culture)

09/18/2014 - SLEC Medical Appointment 2 (Result: Passed)

10/14/2014 - K1 Visa Interview (Result: Approved)

10/23/2014 - K1 Visa Issued

11/09/2014 - Entered USA (POE: Los Angeles)

01/02/2015 - Wedding Day

AOS Timeline:

03/02/2015 - I-485 Submitted (with I-765 & I-131)

03/13/2015 - I-485 NOA Received (with NOA for I-765 & I-131)

03/30/2015 - Biometrics Appointment Completed

05/12/2015 - I-785 & I-131 Approved

05/20/2015 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received

06/10/2015 - AOS Interview (Result: Approved)

06/18/2015 - Conditional Green Card Received

ROC Timeline:

05/15/2017 - I-751 Submitted 
05/26/2017 - I-751 NOA Received 
06/13/2017 - Biometrics Appointment Completed

07/18/2017 - Extension NOA Received (twelve month extension)
03/05/2018 - I-751 Received by Local Office
04/20/2018 - Infopass Appointment (Result: I-551 Stamp on Passport, six-month extension)

06/18/2018 - Extension NOA Received (eighteen month extension)

10/29/2019 - Infopass Appointment (Result: I-551 Stamp on new Passport)

11/06/2019 - I-751 Approved

11/14/2019 - Permanent Green Card Received

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Al422,

Well, again, the wife & I haven't reached that far into the Visa Journey so I have no personal experience as to whether they do that or not. So if people such as those who've chimed in earlier can say they haven't had it done, I can't say for sure as to why no follow-up CXR.

But yes, it's about liability. Think about it as Stop & Frisk there in NYC (I grew up in Queens & Westchester btw) by the NYPD. Basically in order to catch criminals (TB), you're willing to inconvenience and borderline/not-so-borderline violate the rights of innocent, everyday citizens (TB-negative patients having to do the AFB).


"Ad Astra Per Aspera"

"Audentes Fortuna Adiuvat"

==========

Dec 11, 2014 - Filed I-130 via DCF @ US Embassy Manila (...and we're on the clock...) - Read about my experience filing DCF here > http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/527064-filed-dcf-i-130-for-ir-1-at-us-embassy-manila-aar/

Dec 11, 2014 - NOA1: Not sure what to put here, Dec 11, 2014, Dec 24, 2014 or something in between.

Dec 24, 2014 - NOA2: I called USCIS @ USEM on Jan 5, 2015 and was told the I-130 was approved on Christmas Eve. Thank you Santa!

Jan 13, 2015 - MNL Case Number & Packet 3 Received via email (I emailed the IV Unit-Manila requesting these on Jan 5, 2015 and Jan 12, 2015)

Jan 21, 2015 - NOA2: Mailed (via PhilPost!) paper/hard copy delivered to our place here in Manila.

Jan 22, 2015 - Packet 3: Mailed (again via PhilPost!) paper/hard copy delivered to out place here in Manila.

Feb 24 & 25, 2015 - Day 1 & Day 2 of Medical @ SLEC. Immunizations given on Day 2, thankfully

Mar 5, 2015 - USEM Interview Appointment - IR-1 Visa Approved! (CEAC Status updated to ISSUED afternoon of interview day)

Mar 10, 2015 - 3pm - Received SMS saying IV Package ready for pickup at 2GO MoA. Picked up at 5pm. (Shipped/Picked Up/In Hand on 3rd Business Day post interview)

Mar 13, 2015 - CFO Manila - Done

==========

Now disposing/selling/giving away/shipping to the US stuff from 14 years in the PHL and 4 years together before heading to POE.

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