Over the past month or so, I have had way too many opportunities to test the medical system in France. Overall, it is so much cheaper than in the US:
Doctor’s visit: 23 euros
Pulmonary X-ray: 23 euros
Prescription cough syrup: 2.64 euros
Painkillers (box of 16): 1.80 euros
Corticoids: 4.29 euros
And that is the full price! Which means that when I will submit those expenses to Social Security, I should get most of the money back… Well I hope so because I have been going to the doctor at least four times in the past month, so these fees do eventually add up. And on top of it, the blood tests from this morning were actually over 75 euros… Ouch!
Truth is, since I have yet to be fully signed on to Social Security (and I have started the process in september 2010), I have to pay in advance and then get reimbursed, which still is not that much of a big deal given the low prices for most of it…
At the same time, the Doctor has advised me to stay home for the entire week (bronchitis, potential whooping cough, displacement of a vertebrae due to too much coughing, etc.) which means I don’t get paid at all for the first three days and then social security starts kicking in by covering my lost wages. And because there is so much paper work involved in all that, even if I felt well enough to go back to work earlier than advised, it would involve even more paperwork to notify social security that I am choosing not to follow my doctor’s recommendation and it looks to me that I am just better off spending a couple of extra days on the couch.
Overall, and even if the process of getting fully signed on to social security has been long and frustrating, I do feel grateful for the care I have been receiving. Back in the States, my girlfriend broke her arm last June and as a flight attendant, she has been unable to work for close to 5 months, which means five months without pay checks! So I truly have nothing to complain about on this side of the ocean.