25 August 2010

Getting Sick in Paris

After more than a year, I was about to grab hold of my dream to hit the beach and soak in the sun. And when I finally did, the mischievous gods played a joke on me. I, the girl who rarely get sick, was suddenly hit with the catastrophe of adult CHICKEN POX at the onset of my Spain vacation! How fun was that. I was itchy the entire time and of course the summer heat made all my suffering worse.

The entire time that I was in Spain, the rashes and itching was a mystery case. I had to go to the only hospital of Tossa de Mar and pay 60 euros and 50 cents just so the doctor could apply steroid cream on my lower leg rash and warn me to stay away from trees, animals, sun and sand.

And so for the first time in my life, I found myself missing France. It's like missing home. I had a very strong urge to run to the airport and take the earliest flight back to Paris Beauvais airport.

Why? Because of its topnotch healthcare system. I don't know about other countries, but in France, it doesn't matter if you have or do not have money, with or without insurance, legal or illegal. The country won't leave you to die. If you're sick, you will be granted medical care. That, for me, is like one of the biggest welcoming gesture the country can offer.

As soon as I was home sweet home, I immediately set a rendez-vous with the health center near my house. Since I still didn't have my securite sociale during my chicken pox ordeal, the consultations with the dermatologist were free of charge. Even my medicines were free! As if those weren't enough, the doctor and pharmacists were just really nice to me. In fact, I sought comfort from them when I was feeling all alone with my disease.

If you're sick and do not have securite sociale or if you are under a tight budget, fret not. Here's the list of Paris hospitals and medical centers offering free or minimal medical fees:

Centre de diagnostic et therapeutique
1 rue de la Cite (Metro: Cite)

Hopital Lariboisiere
Consultation Arc-en-Ciel
2 rue Ambroise-Pare (Metro: Barbes-Rochechouart)
Monday-Saturday 8h-16h30

Hopital Saint-Louis
Consultation Verlaine
1 Avenue Claude-Vellefaux (Metro: Goncourt)
Monday-Friday 9h-16h30

Hopital Saint-Antoine
184 rue du Faubourg-Saint Antoine (Metro: Faidherbe-Chaligny)

Hopital La Pitie-Salpetriere
47-83 blvd. de l'Hopital (Metro: Saint-Marcel/ gare d'Austerlitz)
Monday-Friday 8h-16h30

Hopital Cochin
Polyclinique- Pavillon Achard
27 rue du Faubourg-Saint Jacques (Metro: Saint-Jacques)
emergency:24h/24 7j/7

Hopital europeen Georges-Pompidou
20 rue Leblanc (Metro: Balard)
Monday-Friday 11h-16h
emergency:24h/24 7j/7

Hopital Bichat-Claude-Bernard
46 rue Henri-Huchard (Metro: Porte de Saint-Ouen)
Consultations by appointment 01 40 25 80 80
emergency:24h/24 7j/7

Centre Medical et dentaire au Maire-Volta
-dermatology, gynecology, opthalmology, dental health
4 rue au Maire (Metro: Arts et Metiers)

Centre Medical et dentaire de l'Epee de Bois
-acupunctue, cardiology, dermatology, gynecology, opthalmology, dental health
3 rue de l'Epee-de-Bois (Metro:Place Monge)

Centre medical et dentaire Chemin-Vert
-dermatology, dental health
70 rue du Chemin-Vert (Metro: Voltaire-Leon Blum)

Centre medical Edison
44 rue Charles-Moureu (Metro: Place d'Italie)

Centre dentaire des Epinettes
51 rue des Epinettes (Metro: Porte de Saint-Ouen)
Monday-Friday 8h45-12h30 and 13h30-17h

Centre Medical Ternes
-acupuncture, cardiology, dermatology, gynecology
21 rue Pierre-Demours (Metro: Ternes/ Pereire)

Centre medical et dentaire Marcadet
22 rue Marcadet (Metro: Marcadet- Poissonniers)

Pole sante Goutte d'Or
16-18 rue Cave (Metro: Barbes/ Chateau-Rouge)

Medecins du Monde
62 bis avenue Parmentier (Metro: Parmentier)

Association Le Coeur des Haltes
Place Henry-Fresnay (Metro: Gare de Lyon)

11 rue Henri-Michaux (Metro: Place d'Italie/ Tolbiac)

Centre d'Investigations preventives et cliniques
-free health check-ups
6 rue de la Perouse (Metro: Kleber)
for appointment 01 53 67 35 35, 8h-18h

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