Like just about every country I’ve read about, France is suffering from a severely strained health care system. I’m sure you know what’s wrong: including too few doctors, too few nurses, too many long hours, and too much stress for too many health care workers. The list of problems goes on.
Near us, for instance, the excellent cardiologue (cardiologist) who runs a busy clinic near the hospital in Gourdon is retiring — and he reports that he can’t find anyone to take over the practice. Among the underlying problems: apparently, too few young people want to take the time to get the extensive education needed to become a specialist.
But there are some bright spots. On the plus side, Jan and I are quite impressed with a system of health care I hadn’t encountered before: a group of nurses who are available for home visits. The group of nurses, based in Daglan, comprise three women and one man, and all of them are efficient, knowledgeable, and always on time for appointments. You can call for their help (assuming you have a prescription from a doctor) to give vaccinations, take blood for tests, change bandages after an operation, and so on.
Earlier this week, Jan and I secured our supplies of vaccine against seasonal flu, which we picked up at no charge from a nearby pharmacy. On Wednesday evening, I phoned Daglan’s nurse service and left a message, requesting a visit on Friday morning for the actual vaccinations (we had stored the vials of vaccine in our refrigerator). On Thursday evening, the male nurse phoned us and said he would be at our house between 8:30 and 9 on Friday morning. (He actually arrived at 9:05. Still, pretty darn good.)
And here he is, at our table, administering the vaccine to Jan. Total cost for his visit (for the two of us) was just over 15 euros. It was all done quickly, with no muss or fuss. Impressive, eh?