Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bilan de santé

About a month ago, I was poking around the French healthcare website to see if I could find a new dentist in our neighborhood.  (Our beloved dentist who did American-style dental cleanings up and disappeared into thin air about a year and a half ago.).  

I didn't end up finding a dentist nearby, but I did come across an article saying anyone who is insured in Ile de France has the right to have a free health check-up every five years.  Considering that I haven't had a check-up in probably 20 years, I figured now was as good as a time as any.  There was a short online form to fill out (here) and then a week later I received a convocation with a date/time at my closest center.

They had booked me in for 1:30pm, which initially seemed fine until I noticed I had to be à jeun* until that time for the blood draw.   Not eating anything and drinking only black coffee until after lunch did not seem to be the smartest idea, especially since I work out at noon, so I called back to see if I could reschedule. It took a while, and involved several emails and phone calls, but I finally got through and was able to set up another appointment for today.

Depending on your age, the check-up covers a meeting with a general practitioner, blood & urine sample analysis, dental exam, eye exam and electrocardiogram, and is supposed to last 2.5 hours.  If they find something urgently wrong, they will call you at 4:30pm the same day to inform you; otherwise you will receive your results 3-4 weeks later by mail.  (It's now 5pm here btw, so whew - no scary illnesses to report!)

So was it worth my time (and yours)?  I'd lean towards no.  The Dr's visit was short and extremely generic and the dental exam was also lightning speed and did not include a cleaning.  I was also disappointed they didn't do a frottis or a breast exam (though a mammogram might have be included if you are over 60).  It was kind of interesting to do the electrocardiogram though, but given all of the rest of your stuff can be prescribed by your  regular doctor for testing at your local laboratory, I don't think it's really worth 2.5 hours of  one's life.

The medical practitioners were all extremely friendly though, and even more so when it came out that I was American.  Though to be honest, given the population of people who were there (mainly homeless, I believe), they could have just been happy to have someone who was clean, sober and in generally good health.  

I did get scolded for not having seen a dentist recently though, so if anyone has a good, reasonably-priced dentist they can recommend in central Paris, please let me know! 

*They do give you a cookie and an applesauce after the blood draw, and at least at my health center, there was a coffee machine and a vending machine in the waiting room.

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Blogger Anon said...

Thank you Sam!

May 24, 2017 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Thank you for your report about that strange experience of bilan de santé. I usually read your posts and I really enjoy to discover how do you see us !

This time was very particular for me because I m a French dentist and 20 years ago I used to work in such a center, as somebody told me it could be interesting to work for the social insurance, at the same time of having my own dental clinic near Paris ....

It has been a very bad experience !!!!

The biggest problem in France with the medecin is that it is so cheap that you really cannot provide good quality ....

I closed my dental clinic 2 years ago for different reasons. I wanted to work in a new clinic not far away from my house... can you imagine that the director of the center pays the dentist : 4,6 euros for a consultation, and between 5,9 and 8,6 euros for a cleaning... how do you want that the dentist takes his time and does a good job for such a poor salary !!!!!?????!!!!!!

You said in your post that you wanted to find a dentist in Paris who could do American cleaning.
Where I m working now, in a clinic near Trocadero it is exactly what I do... my boss studied in America, married an American dentist and opened a clinic as in the states, especially for American people.

As you can read my English isn't fluent, but if you want I can give you the adress and the name of my boss (or mine...LoL �� !!!)

Thank you for reading my answer.
Best regards.

Envoyé depuis mon iPhone

May 24, 2017 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger Reb said...

Just decided to look at some of my favorite blogs after a long long time...You summed up the same experience for me. They basically said to me, you're in really good shape except for you have back problems (oh really?) and should eat more calcium. Um, thanks. I lost a whole morning with that. But at least I talked to some really interesting people in the waiting room...

November 21, 2017 at 10:34 AM  

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