I got this today from a dear friend who lives in Paris, in response to my previous blog. She only lives there; she is American – an American in Paris, like Gene Kelly (I mean from the U.S.A. – I am also American – from Argentina, which is also in America 😉
I stress the fact of her nationality so that you better understand her description and appreciation of the French system. So, should I go to Paris?
She has given me permission to use this, without her name. It is very important to understand it, as here they are fighting Obama for his “commie” views on health… Will they say the same of the French? Never! My guess is that they don’t even care or know about it.
“I begin to understand the benefits of the welfare state in France as I deal with my end stage renal failure. When they say “prise en charge”, for a malady of long duration, they really mean it. They make almost all my appointments for me (and usually immediately), call me or ask me to come directly to the hospital (not to the ER), if they see an oddity, follow my case very carefully with the team of doctors who know me inside out, send me for scans and tests sometimes to have different eyes look inside, make sure that reports and lab results are shared with every doctor I see. The philosophy of the State as caretaker is firmly rooted here as in other European countries… perhaps too expensive to keep up the standards people are used to, but based very much on the traditional and constitutional tenets of solidarity and good citizenship. This is a social contract between citizen and state. One’s rather high taxes pay for these state services. The aim is free and equal education, basic health and child care, sanitation, housing. Realizing the goal is getting very much harder for many reasons, but the concern for citizens’ welfare is in place. I wish you had the same kind of safety net and were not called upon to do all that you need to do (and pay) while you feel sick, tired, and frightened.
It’s certainly not perfect, but it is based on principles in which I believe. Much love, xxx
She is very lucky to be living there!!! And this doesn’t make her or me more of a Euro snob than any others who have access to great health care at hardly any cost (something that is not mentioned but is also part of the system.) I am ready and willing to go tomorrow 😉