An American observer comments on French politics.
Le médicament représente à peu près 20% du coût de la santé en France). Les marges de progrès sont considérables : si 90% des consultations de médecins se traduisent par une ordonnance chez nous, ce n’est le cas que de 43% de celles-ci aux Pays-Bas.
I've seen numerous reports to the effect that the French consume more medications than any other country. Whether or not this is true, I know from my own experience that doctors regularly prescribe large quantities of medicines; one tends to emerge from the pharmacy with a whole bagful of pills and cremes. That is one reason why in every French city there are dozens of pharmacies, often two to a block. Another reason, of course, is that supermarkets, etc., are not allowed to sell ibuprofen, cold medicines, and other over-the-counter remedies. Although pharmacies do sell some over the counter drugs (aspirin, ibuprophen, etc., as well as endless "naturopathic" and "homeopathic" potions), people generally go to the doctor first to get a prescription for them; that way they are free. Since there is no co-pay on drugs, there is no incentive not to take all you can get, and people do. The generally admirable French healthcare system also tends to support the large "kinestherapy" establishment, generally prescribing multiple sessions with a physiotherapist at public expense. In my experience, these practitioners never tell patients exercises they can do at home; everything is done in the office, which produces a regular income stream. I am also very skeptical about the training and competence of these physiotherapists.
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