Thursday, August 03, 2006

En France

Fetched up in a quiet village south of Lyons; spending a few days pleasantly matching the pace of the locals. A couple of experiences reinforce how badly off we are back in Ireland in comparison; how poorly we provide for the general public.

We took the kids down to the local swimming pool - an immaculately maintained, carefully supervised, hygiene conscious operation. This is a small village - do we have any equivalent facility in Cork, or Dublin or Galway? Only if you pay exhorbitant gym fees I reckon. It highlights yet again the way our government leaves everything to private enterprise and does very little for the less well off. Every town and village in France has similar public facilities.

While staying in this village I had to get a routine blood test so I made an appointment to see one of the 5 GPs in the town - a Dr. Dubois. He saw me 5 minutes after I arrived in his waiting room, gave me a note for a nearby laboratory and told me that he would contact me with the results. He then bade me a very cordial farewell and refused to take any money. Later that day he contacted me with my results and some advice on the implications. I try to imagine how a French man arriving at my local GP in Killiney would fare by comparison - he,d probably take one look at the queue and turn on his heel.