about the french medical coverage

Sep 10th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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about the french medical coverage

this from barbra wildes. newlsletter;
cigalechanta is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 03:12 PM
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My own experience with the French medical system involved prescription medicine left at home, one that had to be taken every day. Our house-sitters offered to send my supply by overnight transit, but they learned that French customs wouldn't allow the medication into the country. So..the sitters faxed me a copy of the label on the prescription bottle to take to a doctor near where we were staying, just outside St-Paul-de-Vence. But first I went to the village's pharmacy and explained the problem. Within a few minutes I was given a two-week supply of the medication for the huge amount of $4.50. Bring on the French system!
Underhill is online now  
Sep 10th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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The French Pharmacists are very knowledgeable and helpful.
cigalechanta is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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We've had many encounters over the years with the French health system, all of them exceptionally positive. We've had emergency room visits for a variety of things, plus some routine visits we just prefer to have done in France because the doctors take time with you and want to know the whole picture, not just some in-out tap/probe/test/and out you go. Moreover, doctors even make house calls when necessary! The pharmacists are wonderful, too, and exceptionally knowledgable. A typical doctor's visit in France costs about 20-40 euros in our experience - not even worth trying to get reimbursed for. We have a lot to learn from them.
StCirq is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Love, love, love the Barbara Wildes story! Thank you cigalechanta for posting.
bniemand is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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How much do the French pay in Taxes?
cafegoddess is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 05:34 PM
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Very interesting, St. Cirq! For those curious enough, there is an interesting graph on income taxes at:

Comparing the real tax burden of differing countries is a really complex process, so this chart may be misleading -- but informative. Anyone have other, more complete sources?

nukesafe is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 05:36 AM
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Hi, I'm trying to research an article on what happens when tourists get sick or injured in Europe. Has anyone either a personal event or a link to an info source? I am looking for specific illnesses (one of our river cruise ladies getting heart failure), how hard/easy it was to get care, and how satisfied people were with the travelers' medical insurance that we are all advised to get before leaving home.
docwhotravels is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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How much do the French pay in Taxes?

More than we do, but if one considers that it covers the cost of health insurance which we pay separately, the difference might not be that great.
Michael is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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I had a cycst (sp) on my neck that got infected while in France about 5 years ago.. We found the location of a large hospital in a large town we were passing throught. The hospital did not have an emergency room. We went to the "sigh in" office where they took our name, etc. Then we went to another room where a medic gave me some cream & bandaged me up a bit. We were told to return at 3pm that afternoon for consultation with a doctor and treatment. We returned at 3, saw the Dr. She lanced my cycst & squeezed out a bunch of gunk, bandaged me up, & gave us perscriptions. We went back to the original sign in office to pay the bill - $48. Perscriptions from a pharmacy not associated with the hospital were about $100. Both the prescription & hospital costs were covered by our US insurance.

About 12 years ago, we celebrated New Years in Paris. There were 6 of us. Next morning, one of the celebrants had major stomach pains - found out she was the only one who had an egg based dessert - probably samonella. Her husband took her to the hospital, where she stayed for a few days. The hospital did not charge them anything.

Stu Dudley
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Oct 11th, 2009, 08:43 AM
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My admittedly limited experience with medical assistance in France has been very positive - very through care and reasonable cost.

For tavellers there are three medical care options:

1. a pharmacists - always available (24/7) and these professionals have the ability to administer some medications not available over-the-counter in countries such as the US.

2. SAMU - emergency medical response by simply dialing 15 from any phone.

3. SOS Medicin - operators determine the urgency of your medical concern and either dispatch SAMU or send one of their own English speaking doctors to your hotel for medical care. Fees are nominal at about 70€/visit:

Phone number for Paris: 01 47 07 77 77 (service available in other French cities as well)

Sarastro is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 11:00 AM
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Two years ago I had lung problems in Paris. Took bus to American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, where I was seen almost immediately by an English speaking doctor, prescribed antibiotics, and presented with a very modest bill, which I paid with a credit card. Presented the receipt to my insurance company in the States (Blue Cross), and received prompt payment in full.

The previous year, I had a similar problem in Dubrovnik. Took a cab to the very modern hospital, was promptly seen by an English speaking doctor. She prescribed antibiotics, and when I tried to pay the bill with a large Kuna note, was told they didn't have change, so forget about paying.

Both very positive experiences -- except for getting sick in the first place, of course.

nukesafe is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 11:23 AM
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read the trip report AH Provence surgery in Provence
jaimevoyager is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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The French pay way more in taxes thatn we do - esp at higher income levels - as well as a national Value Added Tax of about 17%. (Many places in the US have NO VAT or equivalent). the reason we can;t afford French healthcare is that

1) we are massively undertaxed due to the rest of the developed world
2) a huge proportion of our taxes goes towards military adventurism - rather than services to the average person
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Hi Stu -

So surprised that your New Years celebrants weren't charged anything for a few days' stay in a hospital! How can the French gov. afford that? Do you know why that was so?

I went to the ER at a hospital in Canada a few years ago because of something lodged in my throat. I was OK. They charged me $365 for the visit plus $140 for the M.D. I paid with a credit card. My insurance paid me back for it but after I sent the bill to them, they called me and actually asked me to tell them what the money would be in U.S. dollars! Yes, I had to convert the Canadian $ to U.S. $ for them.
kenav is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Some of you might remember that my sister and I were in a car accident in Paris in 2000 and she broke her nose. The hotel called a doctor, we could either go to his office or he would come to us, he examined her, gave her scripts and a letter for our insurance company and charged 25 euros. I started laughing and he smiled and said he had practiced for awhile in the U.S. and realize that it was a small charge compared to what we would have gotten at home. Plus he looked like a movie star!
SharonG is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 12:31 PM
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I think the levels of taxation are a bit of a red Herring. There are good statistics showing that the USA spends around 17% of its GDP on healthcare, compared to around 10% for France.

Whether that money comes from the State via higher taxation, or is a result of private healthcare and insurance. it appears the US pays a very high price overall.
willit is offline  
Oct 11th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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>>How can the French gov. afford that? Do you know why that was so?<<

Nope - this was New Year's day of '96. It may have only been an overnight stay - that was almost 14 years ago.

Stu Dudley
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Oct 11th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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I am also surprised at not being charged. A few years back my wife had to go to the emergency room in Strasbourg. We had to pay for the ambulance and the ER services, some of which were reimbursed by our American insurance (we misplaced the ambulance bill).

37 years ago my wife spent 5 days in the hospital in Coulommiers. Our American insurance reimbursed us a cost which was laughable compared to hospital stays in the States. But we had to pay the bill.

It is not the French government that absorbs the cost but the locality that runs the hospital. To my knowledge, hospitals are not nationalized even if a great deal of the funding comes from the national government.
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