Doctor, doctor – this is no joke...

In our village we had three doctors in two surgeries. 

Two have just retired and the third will not accept any more patients.

In trying to register with others within a 20km radius, the same story. We have now widened our search.

I understand that, by law, should we need hospitalisation, we could be fined for not having a doctor.

This raises several issues. While I understand this problem is not confined to France, what are we supposed to do as we age and are increasingly reluctant to drive?

We do not have access to public transport.

Secondly, how far is it reasonable for ill people to be expected to travel to seek medical help? Perhaps it is time for a radical rethink of rural medical provision.

Maybe the solution is a mobile doctors’ surgery available, say, three times a week in mairies?

Steve Hayward, Gers


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