18 November 2009

Going to the doctor's

Going to see the doctor this morning. It's routine. I see him twice a year (and no more than that if I'm lucky — knock on wood). He'll ask me how I feel, weigh me, and then take my blood pressure and listen to my lungs and heart. Then he'll write a new prescription for my daily meds.

A visit to the doctor in France costs 22 euros. You pay the doctor directly, by check or cash, while you are sitting in his office. He takes your national health card (La Carte Vitale) and plugs it into a card reader. All the necessary data is sent to the local headquarters of the Assurances Maladie — the Sécurité Sociale. Ours gets sent to Blois.

The road out of the hamlet in autumn —
down the hill toward village or town.

A few weeks later, you receive a notice that 14 euros have been deposited electronically to your bank account, constituting your reimbursement for the expense of seeing the doctor. It all works very smoothly.

Walks in the vineyard don't stop just because of cold or rain.

At the pharmacy, you hand over your card, the clerk or pharmacist plugs it into a scanner, and you pay only your co-payment. There is no reimbursement to be processed. You've paid your portion.

Fall views

We are still experiencing very mild weather. I've been bringing in plants from outdoors, washing them, pulling off the dead leaves, watering them well, and repotting some of them. The job feels therapeutic — it's a feeling of solidarity, the French would say, inviting the plants in to spend the winter with you, protected from the cold.

Looking into the back yard from the road

It means you have resigned yourself to the change of seasons, and you are preserving what you can while you wait for the warmer, sunny weather to return in the spring.


  1. Great photos today, once again :) I especially loved the one of the road leading out of the hamlet, and the unusual perspective (for us) in the view of the back yard :))


  2. I go this am for the same here in Lakeland, FL - wish it was that easy and inexpensive as France - hope their system stays solvent!

    I will not pay anything right now but must wait for Medicare to process the Clinics claim and then to my Medicare Suplement Ins to review for another payment (None)! weeks before settled.


  3. The system is very efficent. Lucky!

  4. Glad to hear its just a routine visit, something all us blokes should do regularly.
    Interesting to compare notes on the costs - here in Oz a visit to the doctor is approx A$55 - that's US$59 currently or 36 euro, can that be right. .62 euro to the Aussie dollar.
    Don't tell the French doctors as they will all want to migrate.
    Keep in good health.


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