The vital card

Rarely am I struck by such euphoria when opening letters from the RSI, the Régime Sociale des Indépendants – otherwise known as my health assurance providers, however today was such a day – for today I recieved my new Carte Vitale! Whoohoo!

If you’ve no idea what a Carte Vitale is – let’s just say that when you get one it’s like getting free flights to New Zealand for the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final – a rare, and often once in a lifetime experience.*

The reason for this euphoria is partly because I have had to endure seven months of bureaucracy and incompetence by the local agency Mutuelle de l’Est, since Stephen Godfrey‘s details spontaneously appeared on my old card in place of mine, and partly because my wife has yet to receive her new Carte Vitale having lost it almost two years ago.

(She blames our then 18 month old son for the episode, but only a fool would hand over their Carte Vitale to anyone but a doctor or health assurance professional – so she only has herself to blame!)

For those who are interested in such matters it is worth noting that the issue of a new Carte Vitale also results in the issuing of a new social security number. Oh yes! Why? I don’t bloody know.

Things on the health front have been made slightly more complicated by the expected sad death of our family doctor a few weeks ago, Hutton Sam-Amavih. Although I didn’t know the man intimately, suffice to say he was one of the warmest and kind-hearted people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Having a native English speaking Doctor just around the corner was also very handy, but perhaps we’ve now been here long enough to get by describing our ailments in French? Anyway – thank you Doctor Sam for looking after us so well. Rest in Peace.

Dr Sam’s death, predictably, complicates things from an administrative point of view. When I called a local ‘generaliste‘ for an appointment I naturally asked if he knew how to obtain my old file from the deceased practitioner’s office?

“I know the procedure to follow if your old Doctor is still alive.” he said helpfully “but dead – no.”

So there we are – I get my health card back, but now the hunt begins for the recovery of my patient file. Life’s never simple is it? Any suggestions welcomed!

*cunning piece of integrated blog referencing to appease advertising firms … I will explain in detail at another juncture.


  1. Some weeks ago, a colleague of mine just mentioned that his doctor was deceased and he had an appointment with his widow, so she could hand him his “dossier médical”.

    So maybe your first step is to see if you can get hold of the files.

  2. Oonagh picked up our dossiers from Dr Hutton’s about a month ago when his widow was clearing out the surgery. Perhaps see with Oonagh if she has a contact detail. I signed up with a new GP without needing it though.

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