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Ex French president Sarkozy, 66, denies claims he ‘skipped the queue’ to get his Covid vaccine

France's former president Nicolas Sarkozy has been vaccinated against Covid-19, a source close to him confirmed on Friday, rejecting suggestions the 66-year-old ex-leader had skipped the queue.

Ex French president Sarkozy, 66, denies claims he 'skipped the queue' to get his Covid vaccine
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. Photo: AFP

The vaccination campaign in France is currently giving the jab to those aged 75 and over, though medical professionals and people at risk due to medical conditions also qualify.

Sarkozy received the vaccine on the basis of a “medical prescription”, said an aide who asked not to be identified by name.

The medical conditions that qualify under 75s to receive the vaccine at present are only the most serious – including cancer patients and transplant patients, although from next week people aged 50-64 with a condition such as diabetes will be eligible to get the injection from their GP.

READ ALSO When will you be eligible to get the Covid vaccine in France?

 

The aide did not say why Sarkozy had been granted the prescription. The former president “like any citizen, has a right to a private life and medical confidentiality,” the aide said.

Weekly magazine L'Express reported on Thursday that Sarkozy was vaccinated at a military hospital in January, prompting murmurings of discontent over how he had got the jab so fast.

There has been widespread criticism of the slow pace of the vaccine rollout in France, with 1 million people now fully vaccinated and a further 2.4 million having received their first injection – trailing well behind many other countries.

L'Express said Sarkozy, known for his impatience, had been frustrated over the slow pace of the campaign.   

France's Health Minister Olivier Véran, 40 – who qualifies for the jab as a doctor – received his vaccine on live TV earlier this month. He declined to comment when asked about Sarkozy on Thursday, pointing to medical confidentiality.

READ ALSO 10 of the funniest things people said about the French health minister's semi-topless vaccine photo

An investigation is ongoing into claims that the American Hospital of Paris offered the vaccine to its wealthy donors and board members ahead of medical staff.

Sarkozy, president from 2007 to 2012, has been mired in legal troubles since leaving office but remains a popular figure for many on the right.

On March 1st, a court will give its verdict in a corruption trial involving Sarkozy, who faces up to four years in jail if found guilty. He is also named in several other probes.

Nonetheless his latest memoir, The Time of Storms, topped best-seller lists for weeks in France last summer.

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HEALTH

French vocab and prices: Your guide to visiting the dentist in France

From finding a dentist to treatment costs, plus the crucial bits of French vocab, here's everything you need to know about visiting the dentist in France.

French vocab and prices: Your guide to visiting the dentist in France

The dentist – as unjustly dreaded in France as they are anywhere else in the world.

But, while few, if any, of us enjoy visiting our friendly, neighbourhood chirurgien-dentiste, we all know that it’s important to care for our teeth and gums, so here’s what you need to know.

How to make an appointment

A simple web search for a dentiste or chirurgien-dentiste will bring up the contact details of local professionals. Then it’s a case of ringing up to make an appointment. There is no need to be registered with a dentist, you can visit anyone who has a free appointment, although you may prefer to keep your appointments with the same person if you are  having ongoing treatment.

Alternatively, sites such as Doctolib may allow you to book a slot online.

If you’re worried about remembering your French verb conjugation while you have a mouth full of blood, Doctolib also lets you know which languages your dentist speaks.

READ ALSO How to use the French medical website Doctolib

How much it costs

The government-set going rate for a dental check-up is €23 for dentists working in the public health system – which most do. As a result, 70 percent of that fee, paid at the time of the consultation, will be reimbursed for anyone who holds a carte vitale.

Check-ups last as long as the dentist needs to examine your teeth. If no additional work is required, it’s just a few minutes in the chair.

If you require additional work, then how much you pay goes up – along with the time it takes. A basic filling, for example, costs €26.97, of which €18.88 is reimbursed. Descaling adds €28.92 to the initial bill, but is again partially reimbursed.

The upfront cost of root canal work on a molar, meanwhile, is €81.94, while extraction of a permanent tooth costs €33.44. 

The full price list is available on the Ameli website.

For any procedure that costs more than €70, your dentist will provide you with a written estimate, along with a number of options. 

Remember, these prices are for dentists operating in the state sector. Fees at private practices are higher.

What about crowns, implants or dentures?

Your dentist might offer you the option of a crown or implant instead of the basic treatments of fillings and extractions, but these are expensive and are usually not covered on the carte vitale, so here whether or not you have a mutuelle is important.

The top-up health cover known as a mutuelle – find more details here – will generally offer dental cover, but exactly what is covered depends on your policy.

If you require special treatment, make sure to consult the price list, as you will often have to pay up front before you can claim anything back. 

Dental hygienist/teeth-cleaning

If you like to visit the dentist regularly for a scale and polish you will need to check whether your dentist’s cabinet employs a hygiéniste dentaire (dental hygienist).

Most practices do but not all. If you’re going to a new practice it’s generally better to make an appointment first with the dentist for a check-up, and then ask for regular hygienist appointments.

Useful vocabulary

Dental surgery – un cabinet dentaire

Emergency dentist – un dentiste de service

I would like to make an appointment – je voudrais prendre un rendez-vous

I would like a check-up – je voudrais une visite de contrôle

It is an emergency – c’est une urgence

A tooth – une dent

Wisdom teeth – les dents de sagesse

A filling – une plombage or un pansement

une dévitalisation – root canal

I have broken a tooth – je me suis cassé une dent

I have a toothache – j’ai mal aux dents

My gums are bleeding – Mes gencives saignent

I have a cavity – J’ai une carie

My gums hurt – J’ai mal aux gencives

This one hurts – Celle-là me fait mal

These ones hurt – Celles-là me font mal

An abscess – Percer un abcès

Nerve – le nerf

An extraction – une extraction

Injection – une injection/une piqûre

Local anaesthetic – une anesthésie locale

Denture/s – les dentier/s or une prothèse dentaire/les prothèses dentaires

A crown – une couronne

A bridge – un bridge

ARRRRRRGH – AIIIIIIIIE (hopefully you won’t need this one)

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