My friend and old work colleague John, who is a health economist, commented on my post called French lessons about the differences between the French and UK health systems, pointing out that France spends 11.1% of gross domestic product on health, public and private and the UK spends only 8.something. I did try to reply to his comment but my computer wouldn't play ball so I thought I would start a bit of a discussion about it. Firstly I wondered if this included Over the Counter (OTC) medicines because the French spend une bombe in the Pharmacie. Apologies to my very belle fille, Julie, but they are a nation of hypochondriacs on the whole. Witness the family cold we all had a few weeks ago, Sam started it and reluctantly took a few paracetamols and sniffed up the nose spray I had been given in the German hospital. I got it and as I had just had major lung surgery and was half dead I did take some antibiotics and some decongestant medicine. Apparently when Julie got it she went off to the doctor or medecin and came back with armfuls of medication enough to stock her own Pharmacie. She got better quicker though.
Also I observe that the French have loads more doctors than we do but I have heard that they are paid much less. They certainly seem to have less managers and admin staff as do Germany in my limited experience. So it seems to me that they spend more and that more of it goes on actual patient care albeit lots on medicines we wouldn't always deem necessary. We on the other hand seem to spend millions on managers who we pay to keep patients' costs down and OK I know I spent years defending this on stage, screen and radio but I have had my "the emperor's got no clothes on" moment or my conversion on the road to the Dordogne and Dresden.
And with all of these admin staff we still keep people waiting for hours. Witness Jess and Danny waiting 2 and a half hours to get his dressing changed and also my fellow blogger and fellow sarcoma victim, Dot, who had to wait four hours for her bed to be made ready for her so she could start on her new chemo regime. They knew she was coming presumably! Both in France and in Germany even though I turned up unexpectedly to both hospitals, I got to my bed within 15 minutes.
So let the debate begin and John put me right on my, no doubt, ignorant rantings just like you used to.