Tuesday, September 25, 2007

To Your Health!

How very unreasonable of that nasty Mr. Sarkozy to suggest that Brits taking early retirement in France should cough up for their health care. How terribly un-British!
The French health system groans under the weight of British retirees who contribute nothing to the economy and, even more sadly, often very little to the social life of France.
The Dordogne is in danger of becoming a British enclave and any moment I expect to see a branch of Tesco opening its doors there to cope with the clamour for Heinz Baked Beans and PG Tips, to say nothing of Marmite.
Many of those who are proposing to come and live here quite cheerfully subscribe to private health plans in the UK but now seem appalled that they should be expected to do so in France.
The largesse so freely distributed amongst immigrants to the UK, both legal and illegal, is an assault on the pockets of their tax paying citizens and it is hardly surprising that the French government, usually pilloried in the British press for their fiscal imprudence, should decide to do something to plug the leak.
In a nearby village, the young doctor there, whose father had been the local medecin before him, recently hung up his stethoscope and moved to a different location.
His reason? The village had been overrun by British retirees who not only besieged him with their complaints but also, on many occasions, forgot that they needed to pay him his modest fee of 20 Euros for a consultation.
One man used to stop by each morning “for a chat” and then asked to have his blood pressure taken. After a good many days of this, the doctor presented him with a bill for 20 Euros, ensuring that he never came back for another check.
One woman patient, whose mission in life seems to be to visit as many specialists as possible for her ailments, was heard to remark of the EU, “I wish we'd never joined.”
Mr. Sarkozy might be tempted to agree.
But health care, even when you have to pay for it, is still very affordable here and, if you can afford to retire early, surely you should be prepared make some contribution to the society that is accepting you?


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