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Perfect French Health system?


Mjc

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It seems that we British (apologies to non British readers), are only too willing to criticise anything good and to exaggerate anything that goes wrong. Witness the British NHS system. Warts 'n all, it now provides, relatively inexpensively, health cover to all citizens - indeed allcomers. Of course there are problems. With an ever increasing life expectancy and constant new discoveries of wonder drugs and cures, there will never be, can never be, sufficient money to meet all demands made upon the service. Yet we criticise and point with envy at the French system. ...but is it really so good?
I have a number of horror stories from this side of the Channel, of which the following is just one. If there is any interest in this thread, I will gladly add one or two more.
Last year, my brother in law was on a caravan holiday in France with his wife. On their very last day, she had an accident, falling and breaking her leg. Since neither spoke French, they could not summon help, but said brother in law, with much pain and difficulty, got his wife in to the car and drove to the nearest sizeable town to find a hospital - which he duly did.
The staff would not come out to the car, and when he mimed the problem got the reply (in French of course) "Oh we don't do fractures, you'll have to take her elsewhere".
The hospital did call an ambulance, but when it came, they would not take the patient without an up front payment of 2000 francs, which he did not have, being the last day of their holiday. "Okay", they said, "Give us your passport, and then we can collect the money tomorrow". Unfortunately, the passport was back at the campsite, so off they all trolled together to get the passport, and only then would the ambulance take her to another hospital. That was 70 kilometres away, the first twenty of which re-traced the route right past the original hospital. Brother in law was not allowed in the ambulance, so had to follow the full distance in his car, this now being near midnight and some five hours after the accident. Next day the ambulance came to the camp site, accompanied brother in law to a cash point and then demanded more money for their cost of that day's journey! He refused to pay, and after an argument (mimed presumably) he did get his passport back.
In fairness, the treatment she received was first class, but can you imagine a similar situation arising in UK?
Does anyone else have a horror story of the French health system?
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