French Healthcare

Was away with family in France recently – I had work to do and my fabulous family had a few days break . Unfortunately , my 10 year old daughter had a setback and had to have her appendix taken out in a hurry . She suffered an absess in her appendix , which then lead to peritonitis . While a terrible thing for us all and in particular for her , the efficiency and care afforded to us by the French Healthcare system was second to none .
A brief timeline of events – Day 1 pain in stomach , Day 2 to local GP . Local GP very efficient and caring was unsure of diagnosis and monitored her situation for 2 days . Day 4 – GP sends us to local public hospital . Admitted at 12 midday . Series of tests run by paediatric doctors for a few hours which eliminated other possibilities .
Here’s my measure of how good they were . 4 pm – bloods taken , 4.25 pm results in hand , 5 pm Echograph (ultrasound) , 5.45 pm on the operating table , 6.45 pm in her private room in this public hospital .
All throughout the day we were treated with speed , professionalism , courtesy and kindness . 5 days of care followed during which a clown visited her each day to cheer her up , smiling medical faces met us frequently each day and kept us up to speed on everything . We had another fold-down bed in her room so we could “room” with her . My daughter talked about her French “hotel” .
While a bad experience to become unwell – it was made all the easier by our treatment by the French doctors , surgeons and nurses .
A couple of tips , if I may . Go online to the HSE website and apply for your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) . Here is their site . This proved invaluable to us . Not only did it pay for 80% of all our treatment – it made the administration so easy . All we did was hand over the EHIC card and everything was taken care of . Health Insurance – The VHI were fantastic – upon calling their helpline I was showered with assistance – they exceeded all our expectations . I received many phone calls from them checking on my daughter’s progress . I know they have received some adverse press of late – I can only say that all my dealings with the VHI have been extremely positive .
At the end of all this we have a much recovered daughter who can only speak most highly about the French Healthcare System . As for her mother – well , she can’t stop talking about how much peace of mind she had during this time
I’m thinking that the next time I begin to feel unwell – perhaps a trip to France may be in order !!

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