Recently, maybe one month ago, I had a long discussion with a partner after he told me that he had no doctor family since his last doctor migrated to other country because of the economical benefits this could bring to him. I´m not usually a fanatic of much things but this of my friend having not a main doctor in his family brought me kind of nervous and unstable. Especially because he is not a single men who can do whatever he wishes or desires, in the moment he wants, with the money he wants. On the contrary, he is father of three little babies and he has been married for ten long years. But, as you can see, in what a perfect family achievement refers, he haven’t reached yet one of the main pillars which is to have a main doctor. Ironic, don’t you think ?
This discussion head me to make a deep research regarding to family doctors. As if I did not want it, I ended my weekend looking for information and more information about this issue. And this because I was heavily interested in changing my friend’s mind regarding the safety or certainty having a family doctor may bring to him. When we speak about science affairs, including medical and those who have a real and direct contact with our health and our body in the daily movement of things, is highly recommended to be informed towards this issues and not only for ourselves but also for other people. I mean: you may say anything without being informed about certain themes just as science related to laboratory investigation or maybe new and sophisticated machines that can recognize how old an object is in maybe one hour. But you not may say whatever you want when speaking to a friend about issues involving his health and his children health. World today is on permanently change and being in knowledge of how do things are provided to us as citizens is very important so as to have a pleasant life without big troubles.
I´m particular interested in telling and commenting you my own experience among this issue, because it was something very genuine that took me to make a little research over doctor family. I was not interested at all on being right over my friend. I really wished to generate a conscience on him about the importance that having a main doctor in his family. One big memory for me was having my old grandma severely ill for long time. She suffered an illness related to neurons and dementia – which is not craziness as we might first think but it is the first seed for Alzheimer -. She was attended by the same doctor for several years, maybe fifteen. And this doctor was the only who was really committed to my grandma´s
health even knowing there were not much things to do. It was not just about a medical issue for him, he finally belonged to our family above the professional relation between us. Nowadays this dear doctor is the one who attends my mother and my sister in our native country.
Any lector might be interpellated by this questions and this situation I have to live – maybe both the one with my friend and the one with my grandma and his doctor – . But I will refer to my friend´s situation. Any lector might be also in the same situation that he was at the moment of our discussion. And those who have not a mainly doctor in their families or houses might be even in agreement with my friend and his no worries politics. And at this point I might distantly understand your choice and your decision. But:
Would this situation change radically if I tell you my friend is a resident in France having being borned in the United States? He and the whole of his family has moved to Paris ten years ago and there he is, with no family doctor and no big deals regarding this. Apparently, he was attended by a very trustworthy man for kind of an year, before this man moved to – ironically- the United States because of the professional benefits he might have there. Since that, my friend and his family have attended occasionally with many different doctors andt they haven’t find yet the one for them.
Family doctors in France are recognized to be part of the family, as is the representer of the wise and his voice. France population is majorly an urban population but still beyond that fact, there are many people living in rural places in where basics services are not offering collapsed being maybe just three o four doctors for hundreds of people. According to statistics provided by French Doctors Academy, 78% of French population has a main doctor in his family. Obviously, when we speak and think about French population, we might take into account the dynamism and big thrust that is part of the process of migration and regeneration. Why do I tell you this? Because I think is a very important fact to know and to have in presence when having a meditation about every single country in the Western Europe the inevitable and inexorable fact of large migrations. This means that the population on these territories is not only one total and completed population but it is a permanent changing population involving different ethnics and procedences, and a consequence of this is the large amount of ways for understanding life that exists and coexists in the same territory.
Back to the doctor family in France issue, we now take into account the population dynamism fact and read once again the information provided by French Doctors Academy:
78% of French population have a main doctor in his family. Maybe in the other 22% we can find people as my friend, who had no interest until last week on having a main doctor treating his children, or also find people who wishes to have one but for a reason of papers and bureaucratics formalities but can have no access to it. In that 78%, 55% are French natives or descendents while the other 13% were migrants in the last thirty years. As we know, every religion has a intimately relationship with estates about alimentation, activities and sins. A great part of France’s today population is Arab or Muslim, providing big differences between the medical attention one or the other wishes. Many of Arab or Muslim are not allowed by religion to being attended by an ordinary doctor and must assist to a doctor who is commited as them with their estates and their religion.
Doing a brief review over French Medical HealthCare System, we can observe that this is one of the more plural and most efficient healthcare systems in the whole world. As it was recognized by the WHO -World Health Organization- to be the system providing better services and answers to a countries population over Italy, China, and obviously, the United States. And why this is as it is? Because French HealthCare System is a very sophisticated and highly approached to reald needs system in which you as a resident in France are automatically avowed as a people who can access to it. In other words, every single French resident is on his right of receiving medical attention without paying a large amount of money for it. And every single people who wants to be educated in France as a healthcare professional may have access to it and later to a high standard life through the professional carreer. Sounds kind of fair for both part, doesn’t it?
This revolutionary healthcare system has been first proposed by Prime Minister Lionel Jospin and finally turned into reality in 1998 when the healthcare system became universal. Jospin belonged to the French Socialist Party – which have now a fifth part of the power it has on that days – and fought clemently to change healthcare system and population mentality about it. Not many countries in our world are really commitment to its population with the objective of offering a fair healthcare system. We can find similars healthcare systems in countries as Spain and Germany, were there are also great facilities for being attended in any emergency.
So you can see, there are not big troubles for French residents if they want to have a main doctor. You may have trouble as a migrant or if you haven’t been recognized yet as a permanent resident. But in my friends case this was just ignorance, he can access to France Healthcare system as he is recognized nowadays as a resident. You must only call your healthcare oficine for your neighborhood and ask for doctors on this area. Having a person who sees and studies your children evolution it is highly recommendable. Most of childrens are borned and lives their first years of life with a particularity that may be the size of an organ, the way he or she adapts to social behaviors, the interest they may have. And any of these facts are intimately related to our health conditions and evolving. A family doctor may be the one who keeps tracks of relevant changes in children’s health or different ways whole families react or adapt to several changes in their life.
Having a doctor family is not only recommended because of children. Many people grows up and live their adulthood with a disease that may not be very serious but may increase if it is not constantly treated. Particularly in France 43% of the main doctors are contracted through the public healthcare system that we have named, according once again to French Doctors Academy. Having a expanded and well-working public healthcare system doesn’t means you can just erase private sector from your territory. Many people prefers private professional attention, and particularly in relation to main doctor’s assistant, is comprehensible as it´s easier getting a private doctor to your house than a public doctor to your house. In fact, it is really difficult to be attended in your house by a public system professional servant. You might have crossed a no return line regarding your illness which oblies doctors to go to your body and not taking your body to their place, the hospital.
So there we have a low point on the French Healthcare System in what refers to doctor family. How can a public system reach the same professional commitment or presence that a private hiring can? A public professional servant may be attending five people in the time a private sector professional attends only one. This obviously generates a big difference in the quality of the service that can be provided by one professional or another. This is something may improve as not in the following years and has to do with lots of things in relation to professional commitment and collective consciousness.
There is a fascinating book called Les Échelles du Levant ( Soul´s Master) written by Irene Nemirovsky which tells the story of a turkish migrant who becomes a doctor in France. This book is an example of what a family doctor is. The main character has is own consultory to where lot of people attends for being healed. Although he is specialized in psychology, he is the one providing answers to entire families about illness and ways of healing them. Genetics researchers in the last years had demonstrated the importance of family tree regarding congenital diseases, as many of these comes from our family ascendence and can even not manifest for some generations. This is another reason of the benefits and safety of having a family doctor who can analyze your family facts and prevent diseases and illness that are already written in our DNA.