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Posts posted by KathyF

  1. I take your point, Sweets, but the fact remains that if you decide to relocate to another country around retirement age, the question of what would you do if something happened to one of you should at least cross your mind. Manageable if you are comfortably enough off to have choices, but a potential nightmare if you have very little or even no room for manoeuvre financially.
  2. The question of health cover occurred to me too, Norman, and I think it is relevant in the context of this thread. If the OP and her husband will be on such a limited income that they would qualify for a reduction in property taxes, but aren't yet in receipt of a UK state pension, the cost of full private health insurance could be prohibitive. Yes, they would qualify for a short-term S1 after giving up work, but unless those couple of years took them to state retirement age, they would still have to find the cost of private health insurance once the S1 expired.
  3. So sorry to hear that the cancer is back elsewhere. As others have said, it is sometimes possible to treat liver secondaries with surgery and/or chemo, so am sending best wishes for a good treatment plan for Debs.
  4. It's my niece, not my daughter, but I'm still very pleased for her. I just query your assertion that she is an exception in feeling called to be a doctor. Her GP husband is another who always knew he wanted to be a doctor and I bet they would both say that most, if not all, their colleagues felt the same. It's too long and hard a training to do successfully unless you're convinced that it really what you should be doing.

    I have a theory that sometimes the word vocation is used as an excuse for poor pay, as though feeling called to do something and actually been properly paid for doing it are seen as mutually exclusive.

  5. I think we will just have to agree to differ on this, Quillan. Wherever and whenever I have interacted with the NHS my experience seems to have been immeasurably better than other people's for some reason and I feel I have been well-served throughout my life.

    I don't know what you think justifies your blanket assertion that doctors and nurses no longer feel called to do what they do and see it as just another job. However I can tell you, from many years of personal knowledge, that my doctor niece (now a paediatrician in her 30s) knew this was what she had to do from childhood onwards (and worked incredibly hard to achieve it) and if that isn't vocation, I don't know what is.

  6. [quote user="Quillan"]

    "Figures from international economic organisation OECD show the average density of doctors across France is around 340 per 100,000 compared to the UK which has just 220 per 100,000. So, comparatively, France has no shortage of doctors." Fom the source you gave. Personally though I wouldn't believe a lot of what that paper prints, they have been proved to be wrong on more than one occasion.

    So it would seem that there are a lot more doctors in France than there are in the UK. What is the point of setting up a doctor to service a dozen people per week when there is often more than one just down the road. Many of the Cantons round here, including my own, do not have doctors so you have to travel. Fortunatly in my case it's five minutes down the road but for others it is 15 or 20 minutes drive. Our nine doctors by the way are supported by one nurse and two receptionists where in the UK I had the same amount of doctors supported by about 15 staff. Perhaps having to pay for such luxuries  would be different if it came out their own pocket rather than the UK throw tax payers money at them.

    I understand that a doctors job is not easy but how comes they can earn an average of £103,000 dropping to £81,158 if working for a primary trust (Telegraph 30th May 2012). On top of this they will receive money towards running their surgery. There are loads of people out there who's job is just as demanding and technically challenging who can only dream of such a salary.


    Only partners earn the top rate according to the article and by no means all GPs are partners. There may be plenty of people with technically challenging jobs, but how many of them had to do a minimum of 5 years at university, plus 2 years of hospital "house" jobs, plus a GP traineeship in order to be qualified even to begin to do that job? For goodness sake, there are lots of peple working in the City who get more than £100K as an annual bonus and how many lives do they save?

  7. [quote user="NormanH"]No one has ever claimed that the NHS offers a good clinical standard. It is pretty dreadful   in comparison with most of Europe, despite overpaying Doctors. (Just search doctors' average salary in France and the UK)
    On the other hand it is 'free at the point of delivery' and it is this which has made its name.

    I don't see how that can be exported.

    If it were already a private company such as BUPA I could under stand, but you can't export a social model.

    I beg your pardon, Norman, but I reckon the NHS has offered me an excellent clinical standard throughout my 66 years of life there in several parts of the UK. I think you've been reading too much Daily Mail. [;-)] I love the way people who have had little or no personal experience of the NHS for many years seem able to pontificate on its deficiencies with such conviction.

  8. [quote user="Quillan"]

    [quote user="KathyF"]That is presumably why it's so difficult to get doctors to come to a sparsely populated area such as ours - not enough patients to make a decent living? I find it really surprising that France, which is supposed to have such an excellent health service has such a hit and miss method of pay for its doctors.[/quote]

    But it's not hit and miss is it if you think about it. Why put a shed load of doctors in a place that has little or no people.


    But we weren't talking about a shedload of doctors in the example I gave, just one solitary GP in a small French canton, yet no French doctor was willing to come there. Even sparsely-populated areas deserve some kind of medical coverage and paying a GP a salary, rather than having each of them be a one-person business seems to me to be a much better way of ensuring access for everyone. France has a lot more doctors per 100,000 population than the UK, but they aren't evenly spread around the country from what I've been able to research. Some departments have nearly half as many doctors again per 100,000 population as others (Provence 374 versus Picardy 239, but I bet there's as much illness in Picardy as Provence if not more. (source: http://www.connexionfrance.com/statistics-reveal-truth-on-shortage-of-french-doctors-11594-news-article.html)

  9. That is presumably why it's so difficult to get doctors to come to a sparsely populated area such as ours - not enough patients to make a decent living? I find it really surprising that France, which is supposed to have such an excellent health service has such a hit and miss method of pay for its doctors.
  10. But the French health service is also a postcode lottery from what I've read on here and elsewhere, Quillan, and this is probably true of health services everywhere. Since one of my cancer diagnoses was in Wales in 1998 (so not very recent) and the other in England in 2005 and the care and treatment I had in hospitals a couple of hundred miles apart was uniformly excellent, I stand by what I wrote above.

    My young (30s) German GP in a 7 doctor practice covering my bit of Mid-Wales chose to come and practice in the UK after he qualified because he was so impressed by his experience of the NHS during a student placement here. No-one had to go out and recruit him from abroad as our small canton here in South Manche had to do a couple of years ago, when the local GP retired and the canton couldn't find a French doctor willing to come and practice in the medical desert which is our bit of deeply rural and rather poor France Profonde. A lovely Romanian doctor is now happily ensconced here with her family, but the fact remains that the distribution of medical personnel, especially doctors, is very unequal across France, far more unequal than in the UK. As I said - a postcode lottery.....
  11. I'd be interested to know where you read this,Quillan, as the WHO stopped ranking health services in 2000.

    As I've said before, my experience of the NHS so far has been completely positive and I don't think I could have had better treatment for my two cancer diagnoses anywhere. We are in the forefront of medical research and though there is room for improvement in every organisation I get heartily sick of NHS-bashing by people who no longer use the service.
  12. True, Wooly, I was a public librarian and we were notoriously poorly paid. Our employers added 7% to our 6%, and I ended up with a pension which was about one third of my final salary. Even with the state pension, my income is nowhere near the recommended two-thirds of salary which was mentioned. I have no way of knowing how this compares to an equivalent private pension.
  13. Wooly, I worked in local government for many years and paid 6% of my salary in superannuation contributions. When I was made redundant and took early retirement, my pension certainly wasn't enhanced and indeed I've only ever known people get full pension early on serious health grounds. As for your contention that "state workers defined their own terms ( eg retirement at 60, final salary and not total career pensions, defined their own work loads and work pace,)" you are joking, aren't you?????
  14. Idun, the proportion of people on a pension "far and above a current working wage, that the young are expected to keep their families with" is really very small. To have a big pension you have to have had a big salary and that isn't true of my husband and me and most of the people I know. Our occupational pensions are a long way below the average wage in the UK, but we manage.
  15. But idun, when my husband and I were 20 or 30 we were struggling too, with a mortgage to pay, a family to bring up and no holidays or new cars for years and years on end. I'm afraid I don't accept that my generation or the one above is to blame for the mess. On the whole we were hard-working, frugal and knew how to save and go without if necessary.

    My husband and I are retired professionals, but have never had a credit card in our lives. We were brought up to be careful with money, to save and wait for things, rather than take the easy credit, "must have it now" approach which is so prevalent nowadays.

    If anyone is to blame for the mess we're in I would suggest it was the (largely) young wide-boy bankers and city types with their risky working practices and grotesque bonus culture, not us pensioners.
  16. [quote user="NormanH"]If this lot get more influential!

    In the book, the group also claim that the country is being dragged down by

    support by baby boomers in their 60s and 70s for higher taxes in order to

    fund their pensions and live in comfort. 


    Oddly enough it is hard to see what real work some of them have done:

    'financial analysis' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwasi_Kwarteng

    'worked as an advisor' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Skidmore

    'press office' 'advisor' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priti_Patel

    Not exactly 45 years down the mine or scrubbing a hospital floor is it [:P]


    I think they should be careful about alienating the section of the population most likely to vote or at the next election they may find their parliamentary careers were ignominiously short...
  17. I'm with Frederick, who has summed things up very well. [:)] We have had our second home in France for 9 years now and this is our sixth summer here since I retired early in 2007. We still love it, are never bored, enjoy feeling part of the community while we're here and have a number of friends  and neighbours with whom we get on with very well. We're in a small commune without any facilities, but we're used to that in home in Wales too, so it doesn't worry us to have to drive a few miles to get to shops of any size. We have never been ones for holidaying in a different place every time and love the feeling of 'coming home' which we get when we arrive each summer.

    Would I do it again? Definitely and only wish we'd done it years before we actually did.

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