Sick notes via email?
Last January, a rather curious website appeared in France entirely devoted to sick leave, called “arretmaladie.fr". Thanks to this site, it is now possible to get a doctor’s note for missing work at the touch of a button, without having to leave the house.
It works like this – you go to the website and fill in a questionnaire about your symptoms and medical history. Just 10 minutes and around 20 questions later, a diagnosis is made and you have a short consultation with a doctor of your choice.
After going over their conclusions with you, the doctor will choose whether or not you are fit for work, which in France can justify an absence of up to three days, depending on how contagious you are or the severity of your condition. You then receive your prescription by email and can take it straight to the pharmacy. What’s more, the entire service is offered for the reasonable sum of 25 euros, which is reimbursed by France’s social security cover anyway.
Some are particularly less than thrilled with the site – such as the health insurance system which has accused it of misappropriating the teleconsultation approach and are determined to sue this new system. The medical field as a whole is also understandably up in arms against the site, with the French medical trade union " l’Union Françasie pour une Médecine Libre" claiming it turns patients into customers and doctors into suppliers. The court case outcome has yet to be decided, so watch this space for further developments.