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  • #757005
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    mangetout
    Participant
    Joined: 12 Jun 2011
    Location: Dept 49 Maine et Loire
    Total posts: 915

    Twice recently I have been treated very badly by health service staff and I think it’s because I am a foreigner. The first, a nurse, said she didn’t think I should be entitled to use the health service. I told her I paid my cotisations, just like her, but that wasn’t enough as far as she was concerned. The health service was for the french! The second was yesterday at the emergency dept at our local hospital. My doctor sent me for an urgent x-ray because he thought I’d broken my ankle. I was met with the question ‘why didn’t you ring up and make an appointment’. I explained it was an emergency, gave her the letter from my doctor, but she just continued looking down at her computer screen and barked ‘sit over there’. There was no-one else in the waiting room so it’s not as if they were busy. The radiographer was very brusque and when I asked her to repeat something she spoke in English. I politely said, Oh you speak English, to which she replied rather tersely, yes better than your french. The whole experience was very unpleasant especially as I was in pain. I always speak french, albeit not perfectly. I have never expected anyone to speak English. My question is, do you think the FN is having an impact on the way the French are viewing foreigners in general or have I just been unlucky.


    #1023083
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    Clover
    Participant
    Joined: 31 Jul 2003
    Location: N/A
    Total posts: 8226

    Because of legal reasons I can’t go into my case at the moment on a public forum but I will say this, I have never met such kindness,support,help and love than I am getting here at the moment from several communes,people across the country and literally in their hundreds with money being sent to help our cause so I would say, perhaps you have met the very few odd people who seem to be anti-foreigner and there will always be those wherever you go in the world.

    For further information, all the brits on this forum should be proud of what I have been doing against injustice here and fighting my cause where the law has let us down. Hopefully when the problem is sorted, I will divulge what I have been upto but lets just say the spirit of Dunkirk lives on today


    #1023084
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    mangetout
    Participant
    Joined: 12 Jun 2011
    Location: Dept 49 Maine et Loire
    Total posts: 915

    @clover wrote:

    Because of legal reasons I can’t go into my case at the moment on a public forum but I will say this, I have never met such kindness,support,help and love than I am getting here at the moment from several communes,people across the country and literally in their hundreds with money being sent to help our cause so I would say, perhaps you have met the very few odd people who seem to be anti-foreigner and there will always be those wherever you go in the world.

    For further information, all the brits on this forum should be proud of what I have been doing against injustice here and fighting my cause where the law has let us down. Hopefully when the problem is sorted, I will divulge what I have been upto but lets just say the spirit of Dunkirk lives on today

    Thank you for your reply Clover. I do hope you’re right, and that I have just been unfortunate. I wish you well in your endeavours and hope to read all about it soon.


    #1023085
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    alittlebitfrench
    Blocked
    Joined: 06 Aug 2013
    Location: France
    Total posts: 2468

    @mangetout wrote:

    Twice recently I have been treated very badly by health service staff and I think it’s because I am a foreigner. My doctor sent me for an urgent x-ray because he thought I’d broken my ankle. I was met with the question ‘why didn’t you ring up and make an appointment’.

    I was told by my doctor take my baby boy straight to a local childrens hospital for an emergency X -ray…i.e do not pass go.

    I was met with the same reponse…..’why didn’t you make an appointment’. My boy was quite clearly ill. She did not know I was British until I started shouting.

    Must be a battle going on between doctors surgerys and hospitals about refering patients.


    #1023086
    beegee
    beegee
    Participant
    Joined: 26 Sep 2010
    Location: 16
    Total posts: 1532

    @alittlebitfrench wrote:

    She did not know I was British until I started shouting.

    Do you think that really helped?


    BeeGee

    #1023087
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    alittlebitfrench
    Blocked
    Joined: 06 Aug 2013
    Location: France
    Total posts: 2468

    M


    #1023088
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    alittlebitfrench
    Blocked
    Joined: 06 Aug 2013
    Location: France
    Total posts: 2468

    @alittlebitfrench wrote:

    @beegee wrote:

    @alittlebitfrench wrote:

    She did not know I was British until I started shouting.

    Do you think that really helped?

    No….but I was terrified as you could imagine.

    The point is, at no stage did she know I was English. There was no one else in the department, but the receptionist woman was more concerened about policy and telling me about it than getting my boy seen ASAP. Believe me, had it been my French wife it would have been Guy Falkes night. The receptionist was lucky that day.


    #1023089
    jsks
    jsks
    Participant
    Joined: 03 Sep 2010
    Location: Potatoshire, North Yorkshire and Co Cork soon?
    Total posts: 5674

    Our experience certainly doesn’t echo that of the OP. Quite the reverse, actually. We always found the individuals we dealt with in an official capacity (impots, health, Maire etc) to be extremely courteous and helpful and were interested in, rather than resentful of, our being foreigners. Mind you, as far as we know we were the only native English speakers in the area so something of a novelty. We also never spoke English to anyone, nor expected to.

    #1023090
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    Clover
    Participant
    Joined: 31 Jul 2003
    Location: N/A
    Total posts: 8226

    Possibly there are loud mouthed agressive non-french speaking brits who have paved the way for some french people to think we are all like that, very sad but true and I know one elderly brit who absolutely refuses to speak french even though he has lived here for 25 years and gets in a temper and storms out when a french person can’t make him understand. Maybe the OP was a victim of one of these types


    #1023091
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    painterlady
    Participant
    Joined: 09 Dec 2009
    Location: x
    Total posts: 1272

    @alittlebitfrench wrote:

    @mangetout wrote:

    Twice recently I have been treated very badly by health service staff and I think it’s because I am a foreigner. My doctor sent me for an urgent x-ray because he thought I’d broken my ankle. I was met with the question ‘why didn’t you ring up and make an appointment’.

    Must be a battle going on between doctors surgerys and hospitals about refering patients.

    I suspect this is part of the answer at least. Hospital staff have their own issues with systems that make their job difficult, and patients get caught in the flack. If you’re feeling a bit sensitive it is easy to take it personally and see it as national prejudice against foreigners when really it’s just a nurse having a bad day.

    Though as Clover says, previous bad experiences with foreigners making life difficult don’t help, but that’s because they were awkward foreigners as opposed to just being foreigners.


    #1023092
    Grumpy Yorkie
    Grumpy Yorkie
    Participant
    Joined: 30 Jan 2008
    Location: Villeréal, Lot et Garonne
    Total posts: 6782

    We’ve had a couple of such instances, but the overwhelming reception by the French has been warm and welcoming.

    Public servants do seem to be the worst, but French friends & neighbours say they are abrupt with everyone, so not just a Brit thing.

    The hospital ……. as mentioned previously, Mrs GY was in severe pain in the middle od the night some time ago and I rang the hospital emergency dept to ask if I could take her in (yes, I shouldn’t have, I was told later!) ………. the chap who answered said ring 15 (for SAMU) and when I said I could bring her in myself without the need to call an ambulance, he was very insistent and simply repeated, ring 15.

    The GP later said I should not have bothered ringing, but just gone there – perhaps I would have got the same response?

    One of the women in CPAM in Villeneuve-sur-Lot just hates anyone who isn’t French. We went above her head to her boss who couldn’t have been more helpful.

    I have occasionally had a French person asking me to repeat something I’ve said and then they simply repeat back to me the same thing, nuances – inflection and all – so that you do wonder if it’s a p*ss take.

    More often than not, I get complimented on my French – though it is usually followed by a comment that it is so unusual among the Brits, so perhaps we are all initially stereotyped?

    We’ve just had one of our cars reversed into in the supermarket car park …. miscreant drove off ………… and our other car has been keyed for the second time since we arrived. the first occasion was when we first arrived in 2007 and it was still on UK plates.

    A restaurant owner in the next town says crime is definitely on the up and, although our car is French registered, it is right-hand drive and that may be why it was “done”. The first incident was clearly something which can happen anywhere.

    Conclusion? The foncs can be precious and you get kn*bheads in every country. Nowhere is perfect.

    …… but, the rise in the FN vote is worrying, although perhaps a frustrated reaction to Hollande’s impotency?

    Stuart


    Flat cap, whippet, Panda, V8 Jaguar, V12 Mercedes and a '54 Sunbeam Talbot 90 called Josephine (obviously) ................... bloody grand!

    #1023093
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    Chanceux
    Participant
    Joined: 17 Mar 2010
    Location: Picardie
    Total posts: 13130

    Ignorance and intolerance are just what they are, not racism, the comments about nationality are just a handle to hang on someone to insult them, could equally be fat, thin, coloured, gay, spastic etc etc.

    I have been on the recieving end of a lot of ignorant rude people, TBH I think being British gets me an easier ride than many others.

    People being secure in their jobs with no possibility of being sacked and a carte blanche to behave how they want towards those they have power over, patients, customers etc also plays a significant role, that mixed with ignorance and intolerance is a nasty cocktail.


    #1023094
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    alittlebitfrench
    Blocked
    Joined: 06 Aug 2013
    Location: France
    Total posts: 2468

    @painterlady wrote:

    @alittlebitfrench wrote:

    @mangetout wrote:

    Twice recently I have been treated very badly by health service staff and I think it’s because I am a foreigner. My doctor sent me for an urgent x-ray because he thought I’d broken my ankle. I was met with the question ‘why didn’t you ring up and make an appointment’.

    Must be a battle going on between doctors surgerys and hospitals about refering patients.

    I suspect this is part of the answer at least. Hospital staff have their own issues with systems that make their job difficult, and patients get caught in the flack. If you’re feeling a bit sensitive it is easy to take it personally and see it as national prejudice against foreigners when really it’s just a nurse having a bad day.

    Though as Clover says, previous bad experiences with foreigners making life difficult don’t help, but that’s because they were awkward foreigners as opposed to just being foreigners.

    Hold on minute

    There are no Brits in my area I choose to live in France. I have only met two British people in 15 years. I lost my temper (a little) because I was more worried about my son…..who is French by the way. Yes I can speak French, but you sometimes revert back to your own language when your upset or stressed. The same as a French person does (believe me) in the UK. I could have been from any country, any parent would have reacted the same. Healthcare is healthcare.

    I know what I am writing is a commonly held view amongst most French people. Once you get passed the receptionist, the healthcare is fantastic.


    #1023095
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    pomhorn
    Participant
    Joined: 19 Sep 2005
    Location: Eure - ex Deux-Sèvres
    Total posts: 27222

    Hi!

    I am afraid that many French are victim of a cliché – all this because many are badly or poorly informed.

    This exist even at level of GP!

    The cliché : Foreigners get free medical aid ( that is why they came to France ), whilst French have to pay!

    Yours,

    pomhorn

    It is also the same as regards the ” appreciation “of their high ( ?! ) contributions they pay for State Health cover.

    In fact it is only 0.75% of their salary , as contribution for the whole family. ( That is € 15 a month for a salary of € 2000). One should add that they hardly ever change that rate, and that it is not dependent on total Health spendings.)

    It is the employer who pays 12.8%.

    Other countries split the contribution.

    http://www.cleiss.fr/docs/regimes/regime_francea2.html


    pomhorn

    #1023096
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    mangetout
    Participant
    Joined: 12 Jun 2011
    Location: Dept 49 Maine et Loire
    Total posts: 915

    Like the rest of you I have generally been met with politeness from the French. They’re not always very warm in their welcome, but I think that’s a national trait. They’re more formal than say the Italians. But that’s not to criticise. I didn’t come here expecting to be hugged. I want to live an interesting life in another culture and make sure I contribute, both financially and otherwise. We pay our cotisations for health cover at 8% of our income, and as Pomhorn says, that’s a sight more than the French themselves pay. We contribute to village life, help with committees, give free english lessons and I sing in a choir. So we’ve done our best to fit in. Not like some who sit behind their garden gates and don’t mix with anyone other than expats. But it’s just that recently I sense a mood shift, it’s almost impercetible but my experience at the hospital echoes it. Sadly xenophobia is being whipped up all across Europe (the excuse being the economic crisis) and I just hope to God it doesn’t get worse.


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