Thursday, 25 September 2014

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

This is one of the biggest culture clashes that I come across regularly, the French are pure and simply the biggest hypochondriacs in the world!

We have tummy bugs, sniffles and colds the French have gastroenteritis, the flu & the gastro flu!

Recently my daughter and I had a cough. Out came the cough medicine and Vicks and wrapping up as to sweat the virus out. My partner, as soon as the first cough came out of our mouths ordered us to go to the doctors. It does my head in! There's no need to go to the doctors for a cough! Obviously if it persists and starts to go into the chest I might start thinking about ringing for an appointment. I avoid taking paracetomal or giving it to my daughter unless absolutely necessary. A fever is the body's temperature rising because it's producing white blood cells to fight the disease, and especially a child needs to build up their own immunity. 

Now here's why the French run to the doctors ... In the uk you can get all different types of medicines over the counter in chemists, on the shelves in supermarkets or your corner shop and all very cheaply. In France medicines are sold only in chemists and can be quite pricey, and let's face it with the French health care system why bother paying for them when your doctor will prescribe an A4 page of sirops, vitamin C powders, paracetomal, nasal pumps and you take your little green health card "Carte Vitale" (literally the Vital Card!) to the chemist and it's all free! Whether you are unemployed, a skint student or the CEO of Fauchon! 

Carte Vitale

And of course let's not forget the arret maladie! The French sick note.

Arret Maladie

Even for the common cold the doctor will put you on the sick for a week, and 4 of those 7 days are fully paid. And you can do this as often as you like! It's very rare for the health service to ask any questions. I know people who at least once a month put themselves on a nice little arret maladie! Add that to the national 5 weeks holiday a year and you're laughing!

Vivre la France and their formidable socialism!

Vivre la France and their formidable socialism!

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