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A & E: How Far Away?


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Mind you, unless I have got the wrong end of the stick entirely, we're talking about France, here. A country where, if you get a doctor's note to be off work, you are effectively under house arrest and told you're not allowed out! Hardly surprising, then, that they have to send someone to you to administer treatment!

Isn't it also true that if you fall ill when on holiday and have a doctor's note, you can have the holiday entitlement all over again?

Makes a mockery of  chastising Brits who go to A&E with a boil on the bum.

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Norman Wrote :

Can no-one see that the 'villains' (or at any rate the ones who make the

money out of the system and so take the resources) are those who milk

the state for what they can get: transport providers;

I do not know any  " Villains " who do this in France Norman or know what they get paid ....

But this "transport provider " in the UK like many I know from all  walks of life who have the time in their retirement to "work " from 8 in the morning to 5 or 6 in the evening   "Milks "   the system for 45 pence a mile a price not changed since 2008 . Uses his own car and puts in a number of days in a week as required .Can also get called out to run somebody into hospital from a doctors  evening surgery .   "Transport Providers "  can spend all day waiting for patients to have their  treatment and end up driving no  more than 50  miles a lot  in bumper to bumper traffic so  Norman there is no profit in it to the "milk" the state for .

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I was speaking of France Frederick, since the context at that point in the discussion is the reason for the high cost of The health service here.

Hospital transport is very lucrative and often undertaken by simple 'taxis' (although this abuse has recently been under scrutiny)

You can imagine that in a rural place where the Hospital is say 60 kilometres away  a taxi firm is very pleased to take a patient for say 40 return trips to have radiotherapy. The patient has to be there and there is no closer centre so for people too ill to take public transport (where it exists) or who cannot drive or have no car.

 The company that takes me (an official taxi ambulance) charges around 200€ the round trip.

That would make about 8000€ out of the health care coffers, yet none of that has gone towards paying for actual care. It has gone to the taxi firm.

Some of the less scrupulous firms will double up passengers and claim twice...


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The high costs of the Health  here are also under discussion Norman . But unlike France and reading your link about the  fiddles I suspect our  Transport is better controlled under the watch of the Ambulance Service...... as it is here .

Its a pity you don't have the volunteer system    As I know in France there are many people who willingly give their time supporting those in their communities who may need it in may ways  A community transport system  would not be difficult to set up .... But ....I can see the unions kicking off if it was .  The  transport costs to patients / insurance you quote are  shocking .... The people I take get a free ride as my Ambulance Service does not make a charge ....some of the patients I take probably  would not make it back if I asked them for the sort of money you had to pay .

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In our part of the Thames Valley there's a volunteer service such as

Frederick describes, which takes elderly or disabled people to their GP

or for appointments at the hospital, dentist etc. It's organised by a

local group, not via the ambulance service, but charges are very low -

people really volunteer as their contribution to helping others in the same

way that some people help out at charity shops etc. We're also lucky to

have volunteers who go round collecting litter from the streets -

especially welcome after a windy recycling collection day!

We're also lucky to live within a 5-minute drive to our local A&E hospital (2 minutes on a really good day or late at night!) - the same hospital as RH.

Over the years we've used the A&E department many times in England; Saturday afternoons and evenings have always been very busy, usually many sports injuries then. Our latest visit was via 111; we were given an appointment for as soon as we could get to the GP out of hours surgery in the hospital building and moved to A&E as soon as it was realised that was necessary. There were more people waiting than I had seen over the years, including drunks, but a triage system was in operation so that urgent cases were seen fairly quickly. Surgeons were on duty in A&E, and my husband was admitted to a ward following various examinations and xrays by a surgeon he saw quite a lot of on the ward.

Treatment in our local hospitals in France hasn't been any better or worse than in England. I had excellent and rapid emergency treatment following a fall, but it deteriorated after xrays, when I joined the large group in the waiting room, and was removed from my wheelchair - still in a dizzy state. My husband's recent emergency stay in a different local hospital, same town, was very good - apart from the food, which he rated as inedible, and wished he was back on his nutrition drip. Meals in the English hospital were rated as pretty good.

In both French hospitals, staff had no idea about EHIC cards. In my husband's hospital I had to pay a large sum of money, which was only repaid several months later when the English system had paid the French system for the treatment. His EHIC card was looked upon with suspicion, and one receptionist told me scathingly that it couldn't be accepted as wasn't in French!

I find from time to time that non-French people living locally in our small town over several years are reassured to think there is an A&E in town if it's needed. In fact the sign for local hospital is for an excellent facility for elderly people. A taxi to the A&E department costs just under 100€, as I discovered!

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In both French hospitals, staff had no idea about EHIC cards. In my

husband's hospital I had to pay a large sum of money, which was only

repaid several months later when the English system had paid the French

system for the treatment. His EHIC card was looked upon with suspicion,

and one receptionist told me scathingly that it couldn't be accepted as

wasn't in French!

I can imagine the receptionist[:@]

Part of the problem might be in the name. Obviously the French have the same card for going abroad (I have one in case I ever go to the UK [:-))]) but it has the initials CEAM. Strangly the French version is only valid for one year as opposed to 3 I believe for the UK card.

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  • 2 years later...
Just experienced local Urgences, first question do you have carte vitale? "Non", reception guy looked horrified. His lady assistant quickly asked whether I had carte Europeen, which I had. Filled in a form which gave options for European carte or travel insurance and they then spent about 20 minutes compiling a dossier.

Left 24hrs later, when I enquired about paying was told it would all be billed via EHIC card.? not sure quite how that will work, will wait and see.

Escaped and live to tell the tale!

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Hope all is well, Cendrillon.

I was recently taken to hospital as an emergency case and had to pay €677 when I left 5 days later, my 30% or so we have to pay. It is in the process of being claimed back from our travel insurer. My passport and EHIC card had been taken by the pompier in charge and handed over to reception when we arrived.

A while later, the bill for my ambulance arrived through the post, €137, of which I again had to pay about 30%. I hadn't had a bill for an ambulance in the past, so it must be a change since I last needed an ambulance about 16 months ago.
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