Flu Shot Travails

The French and in general the European Health Care systems make sense to me. Unfortunately, I can’t participate. I have my US insurance and a high deductible emergency insurance for traveling. So the visits to the doctor are my responsibility.

There’s a very cool Irish doc who has been here years and was referred by an American ex-pat. With your health, you don’t want to have any language confusion so I have seen him twice. The office visit has been 90 euros. Ouch. Expensive. But, shrug, he’s good and speaks English. Worth it, I think.

It’s fall and time for the flu shot. Kaiser told me to get the flu shot here – the vaccine is global WHO approved. Okey dokey. Where to go? Someone said Air France offices but that sounded too weird. So I called the doc – yes, they could. Drop by for the shot and bring 50 euros. I decided to try the pharmacy. No, they cannot give the shot but were nice enough to give me the names of several nurses I could see. I called one. Jackpot: close to me and spoke English. Had the appointment for noon today. I am ushered in – all three nurses were in the room and they were laughing and telling me I had three nurses at their service. I responded in French, how great and how many of them spoke English? And two immediately shook their heads and scurried out of the room! The remaining nurse was very nice. I took off my sweater and presented my left arm. And she said, well where is the shot?   Huh? I am here for the shot. No no no. The nurse does not have any medication. I have to buy the flu shot at the pharmacy.

Trudge down to the pharmacy. I buy the medicine. She says keep it refrigerated – I say I am immediately going to the nurse.

I hand the nurse the package. She opens it. There is the flu shot – medicine and needle! Preassembled. What the? I said to her – I could have had a friend give me the shot! She said yes, or you could have given it to yourself. Well, that would never happen.

No forms to fill out like in the states – nothing about negative effects, allergies, nada. Just a receipt for me to give her my French medical number – no – so instead she marked it paid and gave it to me to see if Kaiser will reimburse me.

Total: 6.60 Pharmacy, 6.60 nurse – 13.20 euros. So that was cheaper than the doc and closer, even though it was multiple trips.

Always something new.

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