Doctor, Docteur…Gimme the News

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”–Shakespeare, Henry VI

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After a visit to a doctor this week, I’m finally on the mend. With apologies to my husband, a lawyer, I think the American health system does not need Obama Care. We need less bureaucracy and fewer personal injury lawyers.

For 5 weeks I have been sick. Till now I have kept going, knowing each day here is precious. But the train engine halted this week so after two days in bed, I figured I needed to do something about it.

I got the name of a doctor from a pharmacy. When I called the doctor, he personally answered the phone. I said in French, “I speak French but not well”. He replied in English, “I speak only a little English so we’ll get through this together”.  The doctor told me to come by his office between 2pm-5pm. When I arrived, there was only one other person in front of me. The doctor personally came to get her and when he was done with her, he came to get me. We went to his office/exam room. I sat in a chair in front of his desk and he asked me what was wrong, how long had I had the problem, etc. Then I hopped up on the exam table and he examined the parts of me that hurt. He wrote me 3 prescriptions for bronchitis, charged me 30 Euro, which he himself took, then escorted me to his front door. It was refreshing. No paperwork. No unpleasant receptionist. No female nurse supervising the male doctor examining the female patient. No HIPAA. No insurance or co-pay. No getting undressed (and figuring out which side of the shirt they give you is the front–Are you with me, ladies?). At the pharmacy I was charged 12 Euro to fill 3 prescriptions, one of which was for antibiotics. I was shocked at how cheap it all was.

Maybe I’ll retire to France someday.

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