I continue to be impressed

…by French healthcare.

Yesterday, I remember it is time for the annual CT blood test. I call my doctor’s secretariat asking for a prescription. 18:00, it arrives by email. 19:00 my friendly mobile nurse confirms she will be at the house 07:30 in the morning. 07:35 blood all in coloured tubes and labelled. 11:20 this morning, an email from the lab with full results attached.

To me, this is pretty darned good, especially bearing in mind that it is Saturday!

This is not a snipe at the NHS, other than even getting a blood test in the UK is like sucking blood from a stone. I now see that there is a big divide in the NHS after watching the local London news last night where they followed the move of a complete ICU ward from one side of a hospital to the other that necessitated several specialists with the transport of each patient and the accompanying monitors and machines. It was done with complete impressive precision.

I do see that at the sharp end, the NHS is pretty hot. Where it is complete cr*p is the bit getting there…


When the NHS is good it is wonderful. And if in an emergency I was given the choice of instantaneous transport to a central London hospital on my nearest French city I would choose London!

For everything else I choose France.

I had regular blood test yesterday. I choose not to use the à domicile option as a drain on their resources and I am perfectly capable of getting to them. So popped into walk-in service in town, then went and had haircut and went home. The results were waiting for me.

I hope you saved the offcuts for @SuePJ !


I too always used the laboatory to do the prise, but my local nurses asked me use them as there is quite a generous handout which is easy money for them…

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I have a domicile as I catch things so easily and the waiting room at the nurses is just a small corridor.

But is it ? Á domicile nurses are self employed and rely on people using thier services to make a living. They are not paid directly by the state. We always use the local nurse for blood tests.

Our local nurses do both. Early at the medical centre then out for the day. Given the age profile of the area - the Lot has older age profile than most Departements - I am sure there is a genuine need for a lot of people who do not have the mobility to reaxh the surgery.

I’ve noticed my doc had given à domicile on an older prescripton knowing I don’t have transport. So following @JaneJones reminder, as it’s only occasional and never urgent, and as I’m always watching the weather when I arrange an appointment and getting myself to the medical centre by bicycle for it, I shall suggest to doc to leave à domicile off unless I come back to her and say I am struggling to get there - thanks to Jane for mentioning we can avoid this cost to the health service.

I’m pretty sure my pharmacist would do a prise bur I make a point of using the nurses at the medical centre as that’s where my doctor snd other assorted practitioners that might be needed sometime, are. Though if I get passed on to the rough nurse who really does not have a gentle touch like last one instead of the nurse I regularly book, I may have a quiet word or considwr changing. She really is rough.

They have no shortage of patients! And are run off their feet, so because I live in the back of beyond they can do 4 jobs in town in the time it takes to get to me. And the km rate is not that good.


Our nurse á domicile lives about 1km away and three of them have an office (including her mother} in the next village 2km away. The three of them cover quite a large rural area between them. She always comes to us first thing at 7.30am and can always fit us in next day or the day after. It’s not a problem for her, so we always ask her to visit.

Obviously situations will vary from area to area…
Like you, we have a nurse not far away… and some years ago, she would always offer to pop-in on her way through the village… and, to begin with, we were happy to accept such a friendly/helpful gesture.

However, our local nurses are now very, very stretched…
so we take ourselves to the Laboratory as and when … unless whichever of us is actually unable/too weak to venture out… then it’s a quick phone call to the nurses station.

In the past, Doc would ask if we needed “a domicile” on our prescription… now it seems to come with the phrase ready-printed… perhaps he thinks we’re too old (?)… but it’s nice that we do have the option if push comes to shove…

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I for one, am well pleased with the healthcare system I am using in France. Even more glad we did not move to Tuscany

But wasn’t one of the conditions of being able to get a withdrawal agreement card that you met the minimum income threshold? Which I think was around €12,000 the so his pension doesn’t qualify him.

I seem to remember providimg an avis d’impôt, and attestation de domicile and my passport.

It does seem alarming. The reason given in the article, I assume from the gentleman himself, was that the refusal by the Italian health authority was because “the withdrawal agreement gives health rights only to British nationals who were in the country for a full five years before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020”.

I don’t know if Article 37 of the Withdrawal Agreement actually allows degrees of autonomy for each member state? Italy appears to be requiring the EU immigrant to have been resident a full five years before Brexit. I don’t think it was/is an issue in France as long as a UK national was declared resident in France before end of 2020.

The proof of income would have been required presumably when the gentleman in Italy applied for his residency permit before Brexit? Would the healthcare cover not have naturally followed? Besides which, being UK pensionable, wouldn’t he now be able to apply for an S1 that should satisfy the Italian healthcare authority regarding his ability to pay for his cancer treatments?

Poor chap, dealing with Italian civil service bureaucracy!

Before brexit one didn’t need residency permits! Remember the days!

So only when Brexit hit that he needed to comply with legal residence conditions. But being resident 5 years was certainly not one of them.

I am always a touch suspicious of these stories. But if true it)s a nightmare for him poor soul. Last thing one needs when taxkling cancer.

If he moved in 2019 he should have been ok? And if he lived off savings and then got his State Pension, I would have thought he should be entitled to an S1.

One of the myths about Freedom of Movement is that you can just move countries at will. But you always have to be solvant, with thresholds set by each country. And stay that way for 5 years. So it is possible that he is not explaining this detail as he is currently in his 5th year I think and his pension of €10k isn’t sufficient income. I think Italy has set a requirement of €31,000 a year.

More to this story than meet the eye possibly.

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For those stating that he should be able to get an S1, and that his state pension income would be lower than the threshold, he’s only 61, and so not of state pension age yet.

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Very true. Doesn’t change scenario but have amended.