Tag Archives: France

France has the best health care system in the world

30 May

It’s not me it’s Aaron Carroll from healthcare Triage who says that:





And yet it warms

12 Aug
Galileo Galilei / 1564 - 1642

Galileo Galilei / 1564 – 1642 (Photo credit: *The Boy From Cerrado)

And yet it moves.
(Galileo Galilei, June 22nd 1633)
Paraphrasing the famous quote attributed to Galileo in the 17th century, another physicist, Richard A Muller could confess ” and yet it warms”, thinking of the same object: our mother earth.
During the recent years scientists have harshly debated to know if the global warming was a reality or a myth (by the lifetime of Galileo it should have been called an heresy). Data mining and crunching the figures, the Professor of the University of California, Berkeley, a former tenant of the non warming camp, changed his mind when he analyzed the shapes of the various curbs he obtained from a chronological series of temperatures making a jump back in time of 250 years.
He disseminated those results in free access scientific journals and on line at BerkeleyEarth.org, one thing Galileo could not do In his Time, unfortunately for him and his crazy idea that the hearth was moving (as crazy as saying that it is warming).
You can also read the press release for the lay public written by Prof. Richard A Muller in the July 30th edition of the IHT in France.


Thich Nhat Hanh: teach me, heal me, feel me, touch me

8 Aug


The famous refrain of the Who’s song seems to apply to the course of meditation given by Thich Nhat Hanh at the Plum village (village des pruniers) near Bordeaux, France. The Vietnamese Buddhism way of appraising the world be it matter or living being as a whole and the exercises on our body, our feelings, our mind and the world around us that Thich Nhat Hanh advises us to practice regularly  should be mandatory putted in the curriculum of every schoolchildren in my view.

Enjoy the amazing video, given to us for free by the famous Vietnamese Buddhism Master, it includes good advises for preventing numerous diseases brought by the western stressing life we live in the developed countries. All the more there is a paragraph entirely dedicated to the scientists and the state of mind they should adopt to soundly apprehend the object of their research; nature.


To the North

26 May

I woke up early this morning a 3:30 AM with the intention to go northerly by train.


Marseille (Photo credit: -eko-)

The Calanque of Sugiton in the 9th arrondissem...

The Calanque of Sugiton in the 9th arrondissement of Marseille (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entrance of the Paris gare de Lyon station

Entrance of the Paris gare de Lyon station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: TGV hall of the "Gare de Lyon&qu...

English: TGV hall of the “Gare de Lyon” railway station, Paris, France. Français : Hall TGV de la gare de Lyon, Paris, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gare de Lyon, Paris, France

Gare de Lyon, Paris, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though it is useless to stipulate your direction when you plan to leave the southern suburbs of Marseille because the only one direction that is possible to take is precisely the North since the South and the West are occupied by the Mediterranean sea and the bay of Marseille and the East is blocked by the Calanques which are as you may not know, a desert of rocks absolutely deprived of any road, not to mention railway.

So as I said, I woke up early to go to the North by train and more accurately by TGV a.k.a. Train à Grande Vitesse (which can be translated in High Speed Train).
The TGV represents in France the equivalent of what the plane represents in the USA: the easiest way to travel across the country; be it fo visiting family or for work. This early morning of May the 22nd my destination was a professional meeting in the northern suburb of Paris called “La plaine Saint Denis”. For that purpose I stepped down in the subway station Rond Point du Prado at 5:00 AM precisely in the southern suburb of Marseille. A moment later, comfortably seated in a TGV first class wagon I was glazing at a screen indicating the speed: the numbers oscillated between 260 and 301 kilometres per hour (i.e. 161 and 187 miles per hour). 3 hours and 20 minutes later after my departure I stood on the pier of the railways station called “Gare de Lyon” which, as its name does not indicate, is precisely located in Paris (French are not always logical persons). Like Marseille’s ones, the railways stations of Paris are in dead ends (trains have to go back to were they come from). But for different reasons: Marseille is at an extremity of the land route while Paris is the rail network centre. After a chat with my colleagues and a lunch I am now on my way home, coming back, crossing at 300 kilometres per hour speed the green landscape of France. If all goes well I would enjoy the diner in my place of abode next my beloved wife in Marseille around half past eight.

So it is not an exaggeration to say that, with the TGV, Paris nears Marseille more than it has ever done before. Indeed I have made the journey Marseille Paris and back in less than 15 hours, this time including a working session and a lunch. Never the less, despite this miracle of the technology, why have I the fuzzy feeling of having just wasting my time? Would it be because the wisdom teaches us that “the goal is the way”? ; For sure, 300 kilometres per hour might be a speed too high to enjoy mindfully the way.

The PIP prosthesis lawsuit

17 May

It is not the first time in France that a lawsuit is intended on the basis of the bad quality of a health product.

The photograph shows grade IV capsular contrac...

The photograph shows grade IV capsular contracture in the right breast of a 29-year-old woman seven years after subglandular placement of 560cc silicone gel-filled breast implants. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Mastectomie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Figure of the anatomical position of a subglan...

Figure of the anatomical position of a subglandular breast implant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chest X-ray showing bilateral breast implants.

Chest X-ray showing bilateral breast implants. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all remember the case of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus contaminated blood in the transfusion centers case. Now the lights of the actuality are focused on the Poly Implant Prosthèse, a brand of breast implants made in France. At the difference with the transfusion scandal where the French health services where solely implicated, in the PIP case, there are some intermediaries. Indeed those devices were guarantied by a Community European (CE) label and controlled, on behalf of the governments agencies by a private audit society, in that case a German certifying company called TÜV Rheinland Holding. Recently Dominique Maraninchi the director since February 2011 of the former Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Produits de Santé (French Agency for the Safety of Health Products AFSSAPS), now called since May 1st 2012 the Agence Nationale de Sécurité du Médicament et des Produits de Santé ( National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products ANSM), which, in parentheses, is not much easier to pronounce and far of the simplicity of the name of its American counterpart the FDA, said that (quoted): “Our oversight system isn’t adequate. It allowed a fraud of this size to take place for years. The system is based on certifying companies that check only what is presented to them”, end of quotation. It is interesting to notice that the Professor Maraninchi being a specialist in oncology has been at the head of the Regional Centre of Cancer of Marseille during 16 years and that the PIP prosthesis were for a large part implanted in the aftermath of breast cancer treatments. Thus we can think that the Professor Maraninchi has at heart that the cancer patients will be heard and exactly compensated be they victim of a PIP defective breast implant. It is also an other Doctor from Marseille, the plastic surgeon Christian Marinetti, who whistle blowed years ago against the particular fragility of the PIP implants.
So the less that we can say is that the responsibilities where diluted between the European Community label (CE), countries governmental agencies and the private certifying company. As the lawyers use to proceed pragmatically and knowing that PIP has just run into bankruptcy, guess whom they will attack first.

More content:





French drugmaker on trial

15 May

Until now the pharmaceutical enterprises in France were spared by lawyers and plaintiffs.

i take drugs

i take drugs (Photo credit: the|G|™)

On its side the French State, instead of launching lawsuits as many States of North America did, preferred on one hand to raise public taxes based on the pharmaceutical industry’s revenues and on the other hand to regulate heavily the prices of the drugs approved for the French market. But recently the trend changed. And the consumers now ask to civil or penal courts to evaluate the damages they think they have been victim of. And more than that, the state is held for responsible in the mind of many citizens for not having asked the trial to be held before.
The risk of such trials, if they lead to plenty of punitive verdicts against the pharmaceutical firms is the future increases of the prices of medicines (because no enterprise can afford itself to lose money at the end of the day).

More content
French drugmaker on trial over weight-loss pill

How Europe intends to finance its hospital facilities

18 Apr
image edited to hide card's owner name. author...

image edited to hide card's owner name. author: Arturo Portilla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Casemix-based hospital financing systems are now spreading all over European Countries.

Started for the first time in 1966 in the USA because of a concern about the abuse of payment stemming from the Medicare implementation the concept jumped across the Atlantic Ocean and was called PMSI in 1981 in France. The pitfall of such patients classification systems consists in the possibility of manipulating the coding. So physician advisers have to be suspicious when a trend is uncovered without any other epidemiological explanation.

Related reports and articles:


Changes in diagnostic coding may affect data that indicate decline in pneumonia hospitalizations:

A French Doctor

12 Jan

Dr OG is a Marseilles French Doctor who published a letter to our president N. Sarkozy. But his activity is not only literacy but also very concrete: he managed to make the population of his suburb to dispose a brand new defibrillator. It’s only from recent times in France that we were aware of the risk of sudden death in a public place. In the English world it’s a common thing to worry how to reanimate someone who falls in the street, victim of a heart attack, since many years. Given the public spend cuts now at work in all the European countries, Dr OG, on his own personal initiative, asked privates sponsors to contribute to the project. So next Wednesday if you are passing by the Phocean city you’re heartily invited to celebrate the first defibrillator dedicated to people’s use in a public place in Marseilles.
Congratulation Dr OG


28 Dec

A Christmas Sciatica

Tarlov's cyst, MRI

Image via Wikipedia

During the night of December 24th I incurred a terrific backache which made me to experience the efficacy of the emergencies services in Marseilles. The pain was so intense that I asked my wife to dial the 15 (emergency phone number across all the France’s territory). They sent me (at five o clock in the morning of December 25th, Christmas day) a Doctor who injected me Bi-prophenid and Myolastan). After his departure, the pain increasing higher and higher and my left leg becoming insensitive I took myself the phone, dialled the 15 and asked to the physician regulator to send me an ambulance to transport me to the emergency room on the basis of neurological symptoms.  A crew of firemen of Marseilles arrived in about 10 minutes of time and transported me in a chair down my apartment (I was totally unable to walk) in to their fire department vehicle and to the neuro surgical emergency of the Timone university hospital.  I had in emergency an MRI (very sophisticated magnetic imagery, better than scanner). I was examined by an intern in neurosurgery. Pain was released by perfusion of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs (thanks to Big Pharma) during the day and the following night and no longer than the next day I was examined in my public hospital bed by the Professor Fuentes a Key Opinion Leader in Neuro surgery who diagnosed a 3/6 paresis of my left foot but no need of surgical intervention if no aggravation occurs in the following 24 hours.  I discharged from the hospital December 27th and was bring back home by a light sanitary vehicle. My sentiment after this event is: yes we have the best health care system in the world, but also the best health insurance system in the world (I had absolutely nor bill neither fee to pay). And I’m proud of it. Perhaps France is indebted but if it is for such results in term of care (same thing in term of child’s education or public transports), the money we have borrowed was not spend in vain. For now on I am on work loss with income compensation benefits.  I still have difficulties to stand up or to sit down for long periods or to walk for a distance. If my employer read this post I want him to know that I wrote it lying in my sofa with my laptop computer;-)

Prison valley

27 Nov

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Prison valley, posted with vodpod

Professor Patrick Morvan tell us in his blog that in the State of California, there are 50 death per year motivated by a lack of health care and that up to 700 prisoners are enlisted in a waiting list to attend a Doctor visit.
In France an author, Dr Véronique Vasseur,had published a book, on the subject that is very similar with the problem faced in California.
The prison industry is not exposed to unemployment during times of economic crisis but prisoner’s access to health care is a real public health issue!

You can access to the entire free movie entitled Prison Valley by clicking here.

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