“Emergency Doctors in France”

We could be walking through many enchanted places in France, following every single light that catches the attention of our delighted eyes. It is easy to lose the focus, but no one is protected against unusual emergencies. I mean, we could be reading a book, eating our favourite chocolate and drinking a cup of coffee in a balcony, when a nasty bug come inside us for torturing us. Even being possible to leave somebody bedridden. In the US it is very common to dial 911, as 999 in the UK in order to call the emergency service, so in that way, we can get an ambulance that carries us to the nearest hospital.There, a doctor is going to evaluate us and all that protocol that you surely know, I mean the first look, first aids if necessary, medicines, shots, etc. According to the World Health Organization, France is in the third place of Health Systems, so we would suppose “that protocol” is quite cool, but have you ever wondered what should you do if you need a doctor in France? First of all, we have to figure out how is the French Health System. The main feature is the mixed or hybrid health system. Every emergency centre is totally free, but every other service is private and totally paid, including tests, medicine and specialists. That is why if you fell and got an injury in your ankle, it is possible you decided to go immediately to the emergency room, but actually, you are going to receive the first look, first aids, the statement of the treatment carried out, and the prescription (the last two are very important for later), before you were at least for 15 minutes in the waiting room. Then, doctors will decide if you condition is considered as an emergency. If it does not, it is not covered by the health service and you have to take it like a private appointment, it means, you pay. In order to define the seriousness of our injury, we could need an x-ray revision, or a blood test for determining what king of virus is causing intestinal pain.When obtaining the result, you should bring them to the doctor again, and receiving a final or provisional diagnostic. For allthose procedures after the first look, you have to pay, but keep calm! Because this situation is under control. How I said, every emergency issue is covered, so you just need to call the emergency phone. It could be 15 for medical emergencies, or 18 for general emergencies. Those numbers are free and were provided by the French health service, but they have experienced many problems with fake or unnecessary calls. Authorities determined to forbid any kind of joke or situations non-suitable for an emergency call, and the guilty has to pay for the deployment of people and protocols. If you are not sure where to call because you are in the middle of a complicated situation, you should dial 112 which is the Standard European Emergency Number. An assistant is going to redirect you to the closest service to the emergency, and the accurate for the particular situation. It is obvious this idyllic context is not cheap for the French government. The fund for the health system comes from a third of France wealth, and that means a lot. A big part of health budget is taken for campaigns of public health politics, such as prevention of contagious illnesses, obesity, alcohol consumption, even AIDS. In addition, there are emergency centres in some hospitals and the SOS Médicins, a national emergency doctor service. I said “some hospitals” because not all of them offer an emergency outpatients service. Many public health centres, including big hospitals, are just cubicles for doctors, specialists, and common sections, but an emergency room is not mandatory. Despite maybe there are not enough emergency centres for that population, every health public service if equipped by the university centre and the Ministry of Health. In the case of emergency centres, they are provided with general doctors for the first diagnostic and procedures. There is another one called permanent doctor, who is the person that coordinates the emergency centre with the other public services, private appointments with doctors, and the rest of the staff as a head doctor. It is supposed that if someone has a medical emergency, that person is going to be carried by an hospital ambulance, but the only public vehicles are from life-support, fire and rescue services; so if you are waiting for an ambulance, you should keep in mind you must pay it, but keep the note and attach with the papers I told you before, because you are able to ask for a reimbursement. Obviously, at the level of France there are some helicopters for carrying patients, but I really hope you would never be in an emergency as hard as that one. Some cost-cutting actions in order to improve the coverage of the public health system reveal the lack of equipment like ambulances, or emergency rooms in France, but it is more evident in small towns or locations far from big cities. In large urban areas there are many emergency services with home service or Sunday and night time calls rota, but it is not the real life for all the country. In small or distant areas, it is very common walks-in only clinics, or other kind of health centres where are doctors who do not take any appointment. There is the typical secretary who just say “who’s next?”. Indeed, there are some areas those do not have centres, clinics or doctors neither. There aresome pharmacies, but they are the only resource in some places. They are well prepared by French education at the point that they can diagnose mushroom poisoning. Even, they can identify what mushroom did the person eat, and that is freaking awesome. Pharmacist is in charge of taking care of people nearby. They can bring some medicine for simple treatment or at least, call the closest doctor. Actually, pharmacist receive the same cycle and a similar programme to the doctors’ medical studies. They are just different disciplinary units, so they are totally able to give the first attendance to a variety of patients. This surely has created many city heroes around the French rural areas. If you are thinking on a ride around France you must take a look at EHIC, and if you live inside the EU, you got used to it. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is going to help you in this enchanted country and the rest of the affiliated nations.Basically, this is from the social security service administrated under the health service framework. It is free and it defines how much do you have to pay for each need according to your coverage. There are many different agreements and those depend on your situation inside the county, even outside the EU if you are a citizen. For example, if you are a non-affiliated person inside the country, you are automatically covered and you should look for a health centre in order to obtain your card.Obviously, if you are planning to travel abroad, you have checked that information for your particular country. There are special agreements for students, foreigners and citizen, with an average price around the 25€ for a general practitioner, but really, how are the doctors? The education for future doctors is administrated by the “Unités de formation at de recherché de médecine” (Unit of formation and medicine research), the only university able to give a bachelor degree after nine years of study and a thesis defence. If the second is successful, the student receives a specialty diploma after graduated. If it is a high-achiever, it could receive complementary specialty diploma in addition. The methodology of that programme is practical and theoretical at the same time, including internships in public centres like many other countries. Since 2004 a new reform has been applied which makes the student take a certification in order to guarantee the French health standard, and a complementary internship in general medicine for promoting general practise as a profession. This is based on the reality of emergency centres in France, that shows a real need of doctors for that position. At this point, we have reviewed that cost-cutting measures are taking part in the centralism of the system, but medicine education, coverage of emergency rooms and equipment are huge arguments for place France as 3rd world health system. That is quite difficult, because some EU doctors do not want to move from the big cities, and others prefer improving themselves in private clinics. That shows a lack of specialists for different areas in health centres around France, and a weak possibility for immigrants who want to obtain better opportunities. In French health system is necessary to achieve language and competence exams in order to get a certificate for immigrates who have health careers in their homeland. They are going to be able to apply in jobs related to their areas, only if they approve. Those tests and exams could take a lot of time, from 3 moths to a whole year, so many immigrates are hopeless because they cannot work in what they have studied before. When the area is extremely wanting in doctors, some of them could be authorized but with non-extended contract, and that means, the person could take the job for a period of time, and then, it returns to the destabilized situation. This information is very useful for people who want to immigrate or just spending a pleasant vacation in France. If you get an emergency there are a lot of options you can take and some of them are in the palm of your hand, literally. Take note of these tips. If you are too nervous because of the emergency, ask someone for help. In France, people are enough kind to bring a hand when necessary. You could realise in France people have empathy, they help everyone especially when he or she is from a foreign country. On the other hand, if you are a tourist you could ask your hotel concierge or in a tourism office, they often have emergency numbers and a list of health centres. If you are not fluent in French, it could be the best option because most jobs and professions which are based on tourist attention, can at least communicate a little in English. If you need confidence, you could have luck asking your family doctor for proving another one near your area; but there are still two more options right on your mobile phone. Google is able to provide you a list of general doctors, different specialists, and a sort of people who can accept an emergency appointment near you. Actually Google Maps provide you the specific address of health centres around the world thanks to the amazing creation of Internet. On the other hand, there is “Doctorlib”, a smart phone app that provides discount in the price of medical services, a map with different health centres, and promotions to new members inside France. The company was founded in December 2013. Please take care of your health security if you travel to France, look for the information related to the EHIC for your specific country, and ask your head doctor the name of the medicine you need using the International Non-proprietary Name (INN), it means the uncommercial or generic name of any pharmacologic substance. To summary, we can take some strong points which defines how the French emergency doctors are. They do their work well; France guarantee their competence through a certification and nine hard years of studies and internships. The French standard requires skilled and capable doctors. The system is quite good too, I mean, emergencies are totally free, including the transport, you are going to receive a reimbursement even for the taxi note. The problem is not the coverage of the system; the difficulty comes from the centralization […]