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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

Being ill in France as opposed to the UK

Unfortunately we have all had rather a rough time health wise and since Christmas my borderline asthma is now chronic, which got so bad I had to go into A & E for the day for 4 hours of cortisone drip and an hour of air being pumped through a mask.

So what is better and worse between French health care and UK?

Better, * able to see my doctor in person usually on same day and max 2 days

* easy referral to specialist consultants but now taking longer, urologist 2 weeks, lung doctor 3 weeks, dermatologist 5 weeks. Hospitals still functioning despite massive COVID rise in cases ( around 300,000 + each day over last few days)

* great use and reference to kine-therapists - one brilliant therapist sorted out my arthritis of the jaw over a month of massage

A& E waiting time 5 minutes, triage then straight to hospital bed, all tests done including X ray, sent home after 6 hours

Testing is easy, ( and not just for COVID) though you have to que but get test within 1- 2 days and results by email later in the evening

Worse - the costs. * NHS Free to all and long may it continue

France when resident or have permit Carte Vitale covers 75% of costs or 100% in some cases ( cancer related for example) .Rest can be covered by medical assurance - which is regulated, I bought high level of cover as had possibility of a lot of treatment last year for 86 euros per month ( = £870 a year). A good buy compared to US or UK private insurance but still £870 more than UK.

*Glasses ( 2 pairs) 600 euros (with 220 back from insurance) same as in UK unless like me you used Specsavers for about £200.

*Dental treatment free after insurance cover but pay additional for major work while UK standard prices if on NHS

* Its hard for people not in employment or not French residents / permits to get proper cover while NHS FREE FOR ALL ( unless foreigner without residency) I think now

The same- wonderful, hard working, friendly, professional, supportive staff in UK and France, though I think this is true g for public health care workers globally

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