samedi 4 mars 2006
Yesterday, Alain and I went to see a nearby doctor for the medical exam for getting married. This involved first, me looking up "medecin" and our zip code in the yellow pages to try to find a nearby doctor. I found one a couple of buildings away, and called him. His protestation: "But I am a psychologist!" Okay, try to find a générale... I found one a few blocks away and called him.
Tried to explain what I wanted: "The medical exam for the marriage!" You mean the pre-nuptial exam? "Yes, yes, that is it! What do I have to do?" Bla bla bla. "What, I don't understand?!" Bla bla bla bla. "You mean Blah Blah Blah?" (slightly exasperated tone by now) Non! Bla bla bla! "Okay, my fiancé will call you!" After various phone calls by me to the poor man demanding his hours (after which he would rattle off some various numbers) we finally went yesterday afternoon.
Basically he gave us both the regular check-up (heart, lungs, blood pressure, height, weight, medical history) then gave us a prescription for the blood tests, and told us to come back when we had the results and he would sign the papers. We also had to choose a doctor to be our primary doctor, so we chose him.
(Warning: next section might not be totally accurate, it is just what I have been able to piece together with my various bits of understanding French and the French bureaucracy)
I haven't been feeling well lately, round-the-clock stomachache that doesn't seem to be affected either way by eating or not eating. He gave me a prescription (the French LOVE pills). As there is a pharmacy on every corner, it is really quite simple. You go in and hand them the prescription, they give you the pills. The French health care system (securité sociale) is quite comprehensive. Every French person seems to have a carte vitale that has his or her medical history on it. The doctors have a reader and just pop in the card with it's smart chip. The billing then goes right to the state. I guess the state covers a certain percentage and then if you want, you can get a mutual insurance that pays for the rest of the bill. I have a student insurance and don't have a card yet, and so the exam cost me 40 euros. Then I have to send in the paper to my mutual insurance to get reimbursed. The pills were free.
For the blood test, we have to go to a Laboratoire Analyses Médicales, again, one on every corner it seems like.
And another thing- you can actually get (can you believe this?!)

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