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  1. #1
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    Quick Question about France & England

    So, on the topic of healthcare - I've seen the film Sicko, and I'd like to know if everything in the film is true. So if anyone from England or France could answer these questions:

    England:

    1. How do you get your health service? Do you apply for NHS, and then get free insurance, or is there no applications involved? You just enter the hospital. etc? Are there any requirements for NHS, such as employment?

    2. Is there an alternative to NHS, and what all is involved? Where do you go, how much does it cost, etc?

    3. How good's the quality of NHS? What are common complaints?

    4. Under NHS, can you have/choose a family doctor, and what's that like? What's it like scheduling an appointment for checkups and when you're sick? How long's the wait?

    5. Has anything changed in the last couple years?

    France:

    1. Is healthcare free? What's the free/state system called?

    2. Is there a private alternative, and what does it cost?

    3. Is there anything you pay for under the French system?

    4. How good's the quality of treatment?

    5. Has anything changed in the last couple years?

    6. How long do you have to wait to schedule checkups, tests, surgury, etc?

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  3. #2
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    I'm not an expert on England and France's health care system, but I can tell you a little bit about what I know of Spain's system (from my own experience living there), which is pretty similar to France's system as well.

    I don't have the knowledge to answer all of your questions without a doubt, so I'll give you the basic idea of how a basic doctor's visit works. But yea, healthcare is free.

    There are no family doctors. When you are sick, you go to this kind of hospital/medical center that has all the doctors there (pediatricians, adult physicians, eye doctors, all that jazz) and you sit in the (very comfortable) waiting room. You will then have a doctor see you within a half hour (usually). The doctors are very friendly and well educated in their field. If necessary, they will schedule follow up appointments to meet at a later date, so you do not have to wait the next time. They will prescribe medication which you can pick up at a local pharmacy, and here's the real kicker... medicine is heavily subsidized, I mean heavily. Medicines that cost upwards of a 100 dollars in the US cost 1.30 euros in England, France, Spain, and other countries around the area with socialized medicine.

    So yea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sebbonaparte View Post
    Medicines that cost upwards of a 100 dollars in the US cost 1.30 euros in England, France, Spain, and other countries around the area with socialized medicine.
    Eh, that's simplifying the issue a whole lot - don't forget that they probably pay a good deal of their tax money to keep it running, so the 1.30 euro price is somewhat misleading - ie, it's not the real cost of the medicine, just the amount you pay upfront. God knows how much more the tax payers pay for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by l33t fl33t View Post
    Eh, that's simplifying the issue a whole lot - don't forget that they probably pay a good deal of their tax money to keep it running, so the 1.30 euro price is somewhat misleading - ie, it's not the real cost of the medicine, just the amount you pay upfront. God knows how much more the tax payers pay for it.
    That's obvious. I know that a lot of my taxes go to pay our medical system, and I think is fair. When my mother got ill, she received an assistance that we could not have paid if our medical system was different.

    You know, you give in order to receive. It's that simple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by l33t fl33t View Post
    God knows how much more the tax payers pay for it.
    and this is bad how? I'd rather pay for mine and someone elses medicine with my taxes then for some other shit noone needs.... not gonna name any examples here becuase that can get ugly. But whats the deal with the social healthcare paranoia I notice all the time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolas View Post
    and this is bad how? I'd rather pay for mine and someone elses medicine with my taxes then for some other shit noone needs.... not gonna name any examples here becuase that can get ugly. But whats the deal with the social healthcare paranoia I notice all the time?
    I never said it was bad. I merely pointed out that it doesn't really cost €1.30 and that comparing that to the price in the US is not a worthwhile comparison.

    However, I won't deny that I don't like social health-care and while I can't vouch for other people, I base my dislike on the fact that I actually tried it. Though, truth be told, my country is poorer than France, UK or Norway.

    @Rist

    It definitely looks that way, but, like most media that want to hook you on to something, they don't mention how much it costs and who is paying for it. That, IMHO, is a big part of the equation.

    EDIT:

    @Yiako

    Sorry, almost missed your post. It really boils down to what the word "fair" means in your dictionary. In mine, well, let's just say that Monaco or the Caymans aren't all too different from Norway in my book, they just have different clientèle.

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    In England you just go to the hospital and get treated.

    Doctors you sign up to a local GP and make an appointment as and when. Though I tend to avoid going at all costs, I just man up ;]
    If I do need to go I can usually get a same day appointment, though I will see any of the doctors in the practice, not a specific GP, unless I'm returning for the same problem, then I will ask for the one I saw last time. You have to pay for your prescription, though should you break a leg or something you will get fixed up for free in the hospital afaik.

    There is private healthcare, BUPA is the largest, private hospitals, nicer rooms, shorter waiting lists etc. No idea on costs, see their website.

    Common complaints re the NHS are waiting lists, there was a bit MRSA hoo hah in the papers, didn't follow it that closely tbh.

    Dental care however isn't included, basic treatments are subsidised, though still not free (unless unemployed but you have to prove it). Even then there are a shortage of NHS dentists and its a right pain to try and find a new one if you have to. Private dentistry costs a bomb. It is common for people to go to thailand for dental treatment.

    As for stuff changing, I can't really say but I doubt it.

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    It's about the same in Germany Since 1883, on top of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by algenpfleger View Post
    It's about the same in Germany Since 1883, on top of that.
    I don't know, there were several times I fell through the insurance-net, ending up without having an insurance. And since it's illegal and thus impossible not to have an insurance (Oh the irony of law!) I always ended up paying in retribution for the dead time while having to jump through loops to get a new one. Germany certainly doesn't set the standard here anymore. Also, you have those obligatory 10€ you have to pay every quarter of the year.

    Yeah Germany does socially provide everyone with medicine and care, but the insurances and "care-conglomerates" are eating up all the benefits, sometimes making people deliberately sicker espescially when it comes to mental illnesses and chronic diseases. That's what drove me out of the business in the first place. And a business it is.

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    The NHS is paid for by taxpayers, and thank Heavens for it. Nobody ever says "I know I'm going to have an accident/fall ill on such-and-such a day" or finds a way to put illness or accident off until they can afford it.

    Many NHS hospitals are teaching hospitals and have really good reputations and a huge pool of expertise.

    Grumble's right, though. The NHS covers dental treatment up until you turn 18, then it's subsidised, and there are fewer and fewer NHS dentists around.... even though they're all (private and NHS) trained at NHS dental hospitals.

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    My mum's a nurse and her bessie mate is one of the tope admin at a big hospital up here.

    It's completely free, Either sign up for a local GP ( like a fmaily or fmailiar doctor) or just drop into a specialised clinic and organise an appointment. Then theres the hospital.

    The downside to this is that all treatments go through a lot of scrutiny about financial viability and all that stuff before there made available to the NHS, so tried and tested often cheaper stuff is available so that everyone can have it.

    If you do want a massive operation that is maybe not 100% proven, or want to skip waiting lists and all that then their is still private clinics run by BUPA and the likes. They cost alot though, their run kinda how i imagine the American health system is, just on a smaller scale maybe?

    A lot of people (mainly old people) complain about the NHS but we really are lucky to have it

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  18. #14
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    To make simple :
    In France, a part of your health expending is assumed by a public organism called Social Security. This is what you call the free/state system.
    It has been created while WWII "In order to insure working people and their family against risks of any nature which would reduce or end their capacity to earn money, to assume the expending of any maternity and the expending of families who bear them."
    Each consultation, or surgical act, or when you buy medicine, a % of the cost is free, at least you have to pay the cost first, and then this state organism paies back a certain part of the total.
    The % is based on the nature of the medical need. Having a baby is almost completely free, but having glasses is less. It is supported by the contribution that any working person has to pay to the state. It means that workers pay for them selves and for people who can't work. "Brotherhood" is in our state sentence, remember... =)
    The whole point is to allow people to be active and to make the country productive and young. Everyone who has French nationality or legal documents is under it.

    If you can pay it, you can also complete your medical expending with a private system, a mutual company which works together with that Social Security. You pay them a "little" bit every month, and you are + or - covered, depends of the options you have paid for. This system can be supported by your employeer. For us freelancers, it's quite different. We have to pay it ourselves. The cost depends... We pay one, elementary one, I must say, but it already allowed my man to have almost nothing to pay when he spent 3 days at the hospital in the pneumology district.

    The quality of the hospital is good I guess, I'm not someone used to frequent it, so i don't really know, but you can be decently treated.

    YES things change. Because our problem is that the Social Security has deeeep debt. Due to too much people in charge VS not enough working to support them, bad habits, doctors prescripting expensive drugs when it's not an obligation, a huge medicine consummation etc.
    So, the % of what is still free goes down and down. And some medicine are no more paid back. There is also some "generic" medicines, less expensive but with exactly the same molecules. + campaigns to make people change their habits, use less drugs and all..

    And at least : how long you have to wait really depends on where you are.
    If you don't want to wait at all, go to a private doctor. If you want to pay less, wait. =) Even in hospitals, surgery etc, it really depends.. the town, the hour, the context... 2 or 3 weeks ago, a man died in the ambulance 6 hours after his heart attack, because no hospital had room for him. :/ But hopefully most frequently, you can be cured quite quickly if your problem is serious.

    I hope it answer you Arthur! Do you plan to move to France or UK?

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    UK-

    1. Paid for by taxes, you're automatically signed up when you're born really. Doesn't cover things like cosmetic surgery unless your GP/shrink says it's a quality of life or mental wellbeing issue.

    You have to pay a few quid towards prescriptions (although I believe that's being phased out in Scotland), eye tests are free

    2. You can go to a private hospital if you wish. You can either get insurance or pay on a "per procedure" basis. Shorter waits, cable telly in room, that kind of thing. You'll need to go private for cosmetic stuff etc.

    3. Pretty good generally, long wait lists for some procedures, nightmarish to find an NHS dentist.

    4. No idea about family doctors, last time I had to make an appointment it was a couple of days, but if I'd been earlier I could've been seen same day.

    5. Not that I've noticed

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  21. #16
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    Hehe, Squid, I was about to post that youtube video myself.

    I can't resist writing about ours..... Even though I'm not French or British.

    No need to sign up for anything here, as long as you're a citizen or have an id number (which all immigrants, steady or work gets when they've gotten permission to stay needs to get) you're a part of the system.

    I don't pay anything for hospitals and such. For my docs visit I pay a really small amount of money that's a set figure whatever he might do or how long it takes. My US husband got the same rights the moment he got his national ID number here, he's signed up for a steady doctor (assigned through local gov, and you can change doc if you're unhappy with the one you have). If your expences for doctor and medicine over a year exceeds a certain amount, you get a free card and don't pay anymore the rest of that year. That goes only for medicine prescribed, and the medicine becoming free also limited to certain kinds of prescriptions. But everything that you have to take regularily or use to battle shorter periodes of sickness etc is covered under that.

    Indeed we have 12 months of maternity leave, you can have 10 months with 100% pay or 12 months with 80% pay. The father is also entitled to paternity leave, which is a part of that. Everything connected to pregnancies is completely free. The baby I got has monthly checkups at a local healthstation, we're in a parents group and have access to doctor, nurse, psychologist, physiotherapeut and goodness knows what through just becoming parents. Our kids healthcare is free.

    Just as an example, there was a high chance I'd give birth too early, but for a while I had ultrasounds and gynecologist checkups every week, that was on top on my regular doctor and the special "midwife" kind of nurse that you get signed to. All free. I can't even imagine what that would all have cost if I'd have to pay for it all myself.

    Sometimes you have to pay small fees for checking samples and tests (like blood and urine samples), but if there's a suspicion that there might be something serious or the doctor can't figure out what's wrong with you, it ends up being free. I've had free CAT scan, a couple of operations, etc.

    One thing really bugging me is that dental care hasn't gotten free or reduced cost yet, but there's things moving there too. Normal dental care is free until you're 18 (I think), but braces and such has to be paid for.

    Of course there is things not so good as well in the healthcare, the elders homes are lacking qualified staff, the nurses work too much, etc. There's incidents where paperwork go wrong, or misdiagnosis. We're not worse than any other countries on that though, and hopefully things are getting better there too.

    And there is the private clinic options if you want that, that you pay for yourself. There's not that many of them though, but people use them to get things done faster. Sometimes the waiting time for getting an operation becomes a bit long because of the heavy machinery the public health care is and how many people that's in it, and the private clinics is an option out of that. I know companies has used them to get their workers faster back to health and faster back into work. But there they've also tried to do some changes, and I think that at the moment the public healhtcare will pay for private clinic options or send you abroad to get the operation done faster.

    All in all I'm glad I live where I live.

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  22. #17
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    In Sweden it's pretty much the same as in Norway. Though I don't think we have any island resort prison and the likes... Also we don't have all that oil.. *mumble grumble..*

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    Quote Originally Posted by squidmonk3j View Post
    *Sob* seeing this while the Canadian government continues to be led by the American makes me ill. I wonder what immigration would be like.

    Last edited by r.mccabe; February 15th, 2009 at 01:13 PM.
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  25. #20
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    I mostly just want to be able to tell my students if the film I'm showing is right or not. So in France you have to pay fees? How much typically? And what are the rules for immigrants?

    Aurelie, when your man was in the hospital three days, how much did he have to pay?

    Sorknes - what country are you from again?

    Here in Slovakia, there are several insurance plans - some provided through the state and some that are private. Options vary, depending on employment, self employment, and unemployment. Either way, there are fixed, yearly fees (mine are really small - maybe a few euros a year), and I might pay an extra small fee when I'm sick and I visit my doctor - another Euro, or so. I don't think we pay anything when our son is sick and sees his doctor, at least I don't remember paying them. When I had a hernia last year, the surgury and week in the hospital were free. There were fancier rooms if I wanted to pay more, but they were all occupied, so I stayed in a free room (at least I think so, it might've been for a small fee). The operation was free but here are my two complaints:

    1. The doctor who performed the surgury wasn't the one who examined me, and acted as if hernias are so easy he doesn't need to examine me first - which just seems nuts to me. It was pretty painful after, and still hurts from time to time, almost a year later. I'm trying to carefully stretch a bit, but I'm not like I was.

    2. There were only two nurses on our floor, and they weren't always there - compared to like 15 per ward in an American hospital. My roomate and I had IV's and they kept getting airbubbles - you know once those get in your bloodstream, you die. So, one of these bubbles is getting closer and closer down my roomate's cord, and he's pressing for a nurse, but there is none. I crawl out of bed, post-op, to search for one, and there weren't any on the entire floor. So my roomie had to pull the cord out himself. Other than that, the food sucked. If you didn't like it, you had to wait for the next meal, which also sucked. There was no fridge full of free food like in American hospitals.

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    *points to "location" up in the right corner*

    It says Norway.

    That would of course also be the reason I was about to post the same video as Squid as well.




    Two nurses on a whole floor? O.o

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  27. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TASmith View Post
    Aurelie, when your man was in the hospital three days, how much did he have to pay?
    Less than 70 Euros.

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  28. #23
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    Other than breakfast, the food in UK hospitals sucks as well. Go for the 'ethnic' option or vegetarian.

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    @Squidmonk: Scandinavian welfare model FTW!

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  30. #25
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    Everyone seems to be saying "lets move to norway", but they forget to ask what the creative sector is like there. So, how is the creative industry in Norway? Any? But then would this be hijacking the thread? Not sure what the original posters objectives were on this thread so maybe its not?

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    In Britain as a whole. If you go to the hospital they treat first and ask questions later. If you go to a doctors practice you have to apply with that practice. We have private health care "Bupa" which costs money. NHS is Tax paid. NHS is pretty straight forward. Family doctor is easily done. And appointments are varied but usually very easy to get an appointment with you're doctor for same day, next day or the day after. Just phone early.

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    *sneaks in off topic*

    Rist, the biggest problem doing concept work/illustrations etc here is that we're an expensive country. We earn a lot, but the prices are also higher. Which means that freelancing outside the borders of Norway, which is a small country with like 4.5 million people is hard, as your clients won't be able to pay your rates, will go somewhere cheaper, or you end up earning rather small amounts of money compared to the life costs here.

    Ok, move along people, nothing to see here...

    Sorry, TASmith....

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  33. #28
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    well, in my opinion,

    the creative industry in norway is lagging in most arenas..this is most likely due to heavy taxes, high salary expectations, and very strict regulations. cultural efforts that aim towards the lowest common denominator tend to be praised as optimal, and strong-willed ambition is frowned upon.

    "art" is a swear word here.

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    What kind of insult is "art off!" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rist View Post
    Norway seems like paradise.
    I dont know where this comes from...

    I'm actually living in Norway (though I'm a french citizen)
    and I found the healthcare to be of lower quality than the french one...
    Accessing a doctor is much more complicated...and basically dental and glasses are to your charge...medecines are expensive...
    I was quite surprised, especially given how much tax we pay for the healthcare....

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SpringOfSea's Sketchbook