Paris Journal 2004

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Monday, July 12, 2004

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Living Aboard

Living aboard, near the Eiffel Tower and the Allée aux Cygnes.

Radio France

Radio France – hey, Stefano, I told you wrong. I said it was

across from the end of rue du Theatre. It is actually across

from the end of rue Linois, where this bridge is, marking one

end of the Allée des Cygnes and the place where the “mini”

Statue of Liberty is located.

Tour in Morning

This is the Eiffel Tower and Seine at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. Notice the huge difference from last August (see, when the heat wave cooked up the air pollution. The slight haze here is actually humidity. The air is very cool and moist.

A few years back, I wrote a description that some of you have read about Tom’s encounter with France’s public health system after our unfortunate encounter with pickpockets, one of whom turned into aviolent mugger when we caught him in the act of pickpocketing.

Well, that picture of the public health care system, particularly the misdiagnosis and kindly but inept treatment at the Hotel Dieu (public hospital on the Ile de la Cité) does not present the entire picture of health care in France.

The other side is the PRIVATE health care system, which Tom is now experiencing.

He had an unusual problem shortly after arriving here last Thursday. We called the apartment owner and got some excellent advice about what specialist to see and the owner said to use his name as a referral source.

We waited, hoping the problem had gone away. But it reappeared, and so Sunday evening Tom left a phone message for the specialist. He called the specialist’s office again this morning and lo and behold he had an appointment for 11:45AM today!

We decided to walk there because the office is in one of those few places that isn’t that convenient for us by Métro. Imagine, walking to a not so routine doctor’s appointment or lab test appointment, but you are walking past the Eiffel Tower, walking down the Champs Elysees, walking past the Arc de Triomphe. (Sorry, I didn’t take the camera in the mad rush to get to the appointment today.)

This doctor was NOT stand-offish. He was very much hands-on, and very professional. An elegant man. The staff at the first lab was also very professional. They send the test results to BOTH the doctor and the patient’s home. Imagine that.

Care is expensive, but not as expensive as you might think. The doctor’s office call, including an ultrasound test was 120 euros. The lab fee, for urinalysis and blood tests (two vials) was about the same. The cat scan on Thursday will be about 250 euros. The cat scan results are read immediately to the patient, and are sent to the doctor.

If you just tuned into my journal this year and you’re wondering where is all the great stuff about Paris attractions, check out prior year’s journals at We are busy with this health care stuff right now.

More later!

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