24th May 2009

Ever since I broke my arm last year and experienced the French health care system - literally at first hand - I've been telling everybody about the excellent French system. It's also been interesting to hear our Canadian friends say how much better French health care is to the Canadian one, where people still have to sit in long queues waiting in casualty units.
However, Sarkozy wants to change it all. French doctors are in uproar over a proposed reform they say will sacrifice the quality of medical treatment in order to save money. Where have I heard all this before? France’s generous health care system is undergoing a serious shake-up that has set doctors on edge for the last few months. But, in the meantime, local hospitals like La Chartreuse in nearby Villefranche de Rouergue continue to welcome everybody, comme d'habitude: carte-vitale holders, tourists and even inmates held by the police, offering all inpatients a choice of wine with their meals. Just like back home - I don't think.
French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot and the Senate met on 12 May to push through a reform to balance the books in French hospitals and boost the powers of the hospital directors. Haven't they heard of the disastrous mistakes the UK has made over the last fifty years or so?
Please, Mr. Sarkozy: don't follow the terrible litany of errors of the NHS. What's that old adage? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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