Archive for the ‘France’ Category


Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A survey released at the end of last year placed the UK as the worst place to live in Europe in terms of quality of life. And guess who came out on top? Yes, France thanks to the earliest retirement age in Europe, the highest percentage of GDP spent on healthcare(11%) and the longest life expectancy. France’s lucky workers also have 36 day holiday a year compared to the UK 28, and are only behind Spain and Italy at hours of sunshine/ day.

By comparing France to the UK, we realize that although the average income in a normal household is bigger in the UK than in the rest of Europe but the higher income dose not mean a better lifestyle. The higher income is mainly used up to pay for the higher cost of life in the UK. The UK pays more for bills, gas, electricity, cigarettes and alcohol. So who is better off?

You would think that with so many taxes the UK would at least have a good health and education plan, but recent budget cuts have direct effect on life expectancy as more and more studies indicate that higher and better education lead to a longer life.
Unsurprisingly more and more people consider that now is the time to emigrate. And so do we. Studies show that fewer and fewer expats return to the UK.

The benefits of living and working in France:

– environment
– climate
– culture
– leisure
– education
– healthcare
– shorter working days
– earlier retirement
– more annual leave
– more sunshine

Professional expats are typically earning over £20,000 more than their UK peers, with 92% reporting an increase in salary in 3 years.

So if the UK considers moving to France a good idea what do you think of it?

(you are welcome to give us your opinion in the Free For All discussion topic)

Articre source:

Top 5 reasons to move to France:

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Moving to France is no easy decision. Despite the extensive effort involved, it is worth it. Here are top reasons to move to France.

1. French food is fabulous:

If you love food, you will love. That’s all there is to it. It’s the simple things like visiting the local produce market for fresh finds or the nearby bakery for divine fresh-baked baguetts. It’s the incredible cuisine at restaurants, from Michelin-starred chefs to humble but impressive family owned cafes. France takes food seriously and it shows.

2. It’s easy to be Healthy:

Sure people smoke and it’s easy to eat fattening foods, but just compare the obesity rate of people in France to people in the U.S. In France it is easy and in fact encouraged to be active. Most French cities and even villages are very pedestrian friendly and there are tons of outdoor activities. It’s also a simple lifestyle and attitude thing in France. It is nothing to see a French person preferring to climb a couple of stairs rather to wait for an elevator. The healthcare system in France is also cheap and high quality and even prescription drugs cost a fraction of the price compared to the US.

3. You get to experience the French culture:

The French culture, as bashed as it can be from time to time, is unique and fascinating. It’s always a good experience to live in a new culture if for no other reason than to develop and grow as a person. The French place importance on many things that actually are important such as: taking time to enjoy life, spending time with the family, long lunches and even longer dinners. Even if you relocate for just a few months to France, you will always be affected by the slower pace of the French lifestyle.

4. Great location for travel junkies:

If you love to travel, France is the perfect place to live in. You have such a diversity of places to visit within France, from rural mountain villages to big cities and beaches. France also borders several other great European countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, the UK, all within reach.

5. Buy great wine for cheap:

If you are a wine aficionado, France is an ideal place to live. Buy table wines that would cost $10 or more for pocket change at your local market, and buy fine wines for a fraction of the price you would pay for a French import. Better yet, find regional wines such as blanquette, the real first sparkling wine, or the unique wine and Armagnac blend found in floc.

Source of article here:


Monday, October 24th, 2011

Where did all the Romanian doctors and French students go?

Mobility within the European Union also applies to the medical sphere, resulting in a freedom which leads to problems as well as advantages.
The effect of medical tourism was the topic discussed at the Central and Eastern Europe Medical Tourism and Healthcare Summit from Zagreb, Croatia, 17-18.05.2011. Countries such as Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and even Poland attract the attention of medical tourism agencies, associations, hospitals, and consultants from all over the world.

But to what extent can the EU be blamed for the failings in our medical system? Migration flows have been increasing substantially for the past ten years and have accelerated since January 1 2007, the date of Romania and Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union.

Freedom of movement, the creation of low cost airlines and the unification and the recognition of medical studies between the member states has led to a “European Medical Highway” linking western and eastern Europe. Professionals leave their countries to practice, students continue their training aboard while patients take up medical tourism.


The UK, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria and even France and Germany recruit doctors from eastern Europe to fill the vacancies for general practitioners. These countries guarantee these adopted practitioners a high salary and the prospect of better working conditions.

While doctors go west, students go east. Western patients are following the trend. Tired of waiting for weeks for an appointment and unable to pay the high prices for medical procedures( in particular dental and optician’s fees), they turn to private practices based in Romania, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, no longer hesitating at taking a plane in order to have dental implants inserted or have an eye operation.

France and Romania are a perfect case of the “medical highway” phenomenon. In France approximately 12% of foreign doctors are Romanian. Since 1 January 2007, when Romania joined the European Union, the number of Romanian doctors who are members of the French medical association has risen from 174 to almost 1000. Through fares or agencies, French municipalities have no difficulty at all recruiting specialists and general practitioners seduced by the promise of salaries ten or fifteen times higher than in Romania, not to mention advantages such as: accommodation, a place in a crèche, a consulting room, help with setting up, etc.).

The Romanian public health system is suffering from the full force of this medical exodus. Romanian hospitals have a shortage of doctors. The government invests in private clinics for foreigners, thus exacerbating an already alarming situation. Without financing, there are insufficient technical resources and drugs in state institutions. Last October the main hospital in Brasov temporarily closed its accident and emergency department because of lack of drugs and supplies. At the same time, the hospital of the Mehedinti region, in Drobeta Turnu Severin, announced total arrears of 1.35 million Lei, as well as its inability to cover hospital staff salaries.

Ironically French students are leaving France to continue their medical training in Romanian Universities. Finding themselves victims of the unrelenting demands of the selection process( 85% of the student fail at the end of the first year), they join establishments such as Cluj University, which has set up a French department. Unlike the French faculties, Cluj University charges fees( 5000 euro/year) and recruits from file. Today it has more than 260 French students. If French students decide to leave Paris for Budapest it is not because the medical programme there is more complete, but because finishing their medical studies in France involves so many hurdles.

Source of article here:


Monday, October 24th, 2011

Traditionally, human-resources planning has sought to forecast the gap between future supply and demand so that resources for closing the gap can be implemented in a timely manner. The healthcare organization and financing system designed in nineteenth-century Germany and later adopted by France does not allow an approach of that kind. The experience of recent decades shows that the gap between personnel supply and demand—i.e., shortage or oversupply—in such a system is highly elusive and even uncertain. Nevertheless, demographic projections of healthcare professions remain very useful, as they allow a preview of system participants’ collective perceptions. These can lead to decisions whose consequences might not be the most desirable two or three decades later.

The experience of the developed countries shows that the demand for medical care is, so to speak, infinitely extendable—owing, among other reasons, to technical progress and everyone’s desire for greater well-being. Only two factors can, if not halt, at least dampen demand in the health sector: the availability of local caregivers and the price that patients themselves must pay. Nowadays, however, most developed countries have adopted healthcare funding systems in which the patient’s deductible is very low or even zero. Therefore, the race to medical care now depends only on supply—chiefly the supply of doctors. Theoretically, when supply exceeds demand, the system is overstaffed. When supply fails to meet demand, the system is understaffed. Reality is more complex, as the French experience of recent decades shows.

In the 1980s, there was a broad consensus in France regarding the excess number of doctors. Between 1980 and 1993, the number of “omnipractitioners” (i.e. general physicians) in the private sector alone rose 36%, that of specialists 64%. During those thirteen years, the French population grew only 7%. Alarms sounded everywhere. Yet doctors’ activity, instead of falling, enjoyed a remarkable expansion. In the same period, the annual number of visits (home and office) rose 6% per general physician and 21% per specialist. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the total volume of visits rose 45% in general medicine and almost doubled in specialties between 1980 and 1993. The number of care providers—i.e. doctors—admittedly grew, but their ACTIVITY EXPANDED EVEN FASTER.

In 2003 the collective perception begins to be dominated by the spectre of shortage:
THE NUMBER OF YOUNG PRACTICIONERS under 40 years old was in the year 2000 about 46.600. In 2010 there are just about 17.000 medical practicioners under 40. The plunge is obviously due to the low university intake in the 1990s. It explains the reversal of opinion in 2000-2001, when the fear of shortage replaced the obsession with oversupply.

The predictions for 2025 are comforting, due to higher intake in medical students by the university. The 15 year gap between 2010 and 2025 gives opportunities for young practicioners from other countries.

Source of the article:
“Shortage and oversupply of doctors in France: contribution of demographic projections