Many years ago in the era of Gorbachev and perestroika I spent a short time working in Russia. When asked what it was like I gave the following description:
1 There are rules.
2 You MUST follow the rules.
3 You have no idea what the rules are.
I think dealing with another country's bureaucracy is a bit like that experience. At least in your own country you stand some chance of knowing what the rules are.
A few years ago, when my late wife was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer the process was started by an IKA kidney specialist. He authorised an ultrasound scan, which revealed the tumour, and he immediately approved a CT scan on the basis of a phone call from the ultrasound specialist. When he looked at the scans he referred my wife to a private kidney surgeon who in turn brought in a private oncologist. They initially decided the best course of action was to remove as much of the tumour as possible followed by chemotherapy. We agreed to have the operation done privately in Gavralakis clinic and the administrator on the desk there told me to get an authorisation from the original IKA doctor for the operation. I said I didn't really care about saving a small amount on the cost of the operation and couldn't we just go ahead. At that point she explained that if we did not get authorisation from IKA for the operation, IKA would not pay for any subsequent chemotherapy or other follow up treatment. In the end, after carrying out MRI scans, they decided that the operation was too dangerous but, because I had gone and got the authorisation for it, IKA funded several months of chemotherapy at about €4,000 per month. If it wasn't for that very efficient administrator we would have had to pay for that treatment ourselves.
Always try to find out what the rules are and never assume they are the same as you are used to.