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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

Thank you to the French health service

Yesterday I saw my local doctor, who had set up a follow up appointment 2 weeks after our last one just to check up on my progress, as I had been hardly sleeping and suffering from stress and a urinary infection. The test results ( which arrive by email the evening of the tests!) showed that the infection had cleared and he then recommended I stopped taking the anti stress pills as they can lead to dependency as my sleep had returned to normal, he then also gave me a memory test, as I had been forgetting dates, which thankfully turned out 100% OK, and then agreed to prescribe a further blood test for my wife to check she is alright.

This was so much better service than i received from my UK GP even before COVID, when you could only ask about one illness or concern within the 10 minutes allocated and certainly not have your companion given a prescription. In addition here the doctor usually checks my breathing, blood pressure and heart rate as a matter of course, and will if required continue his consultation above the allotted 15 minutes.

Today technicians attached to the company providing sleep apnia breathing machines arrived at my house to check the apparatus and bring replacement attachments, a service which at the very least would require in the UK me to have an appointment at a medical centre

Tomorrow both my self, my wife and daughter will all attend specialist physio therapy weekly sessions for sciatica, strained shoulder and jaw respectively which does not just consist of being given and told a list of exercises ( though they do that too) but practical deep massage and therapy which lasts on the health service for as long as is needed.

It really is a different world here and it is terrible reading about in the UK the 7 million people waiting for appointments and treatment and the difficulty getting face to face quick appointments with their GPs.

Macron is trying to emulate the UK, with cuts, refusal to agree salary increases and centralisation of services, which is particularly affecting rural areas like ours. But here is much stronger resistance, trade unions and a preparedness to fight to keep their health and welfare services.

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