Clinique de Rééducation du Docteur Ster, St Clément de Rivière

This is a foretaste of what will come in th UK. This, the Clinique St Jean and the Ganges clinic where I had my hip replaced ten years ago are all private enterprises carrying out services on behalf the state.

At first sight this clinic is large, slightly run-down looking, with the most hideous garish yellow doors and windows everywhere. Everything is very impersonal looking- functional chairs and not a picture to be seen anywhere. The centre of our social life, if you can call it that, are a cavernous large dining room (there are about 75 residential patients) and ‘sitting’ room with television and drinks machine. Both have giant picture windows looking onto the quite attractive garden where I imagine you spend most of your time when not in the depths of a prematurely cold winter.

Down on the ground floor are all the administrative and medical offices. Our reeducation takes place in a number of rooms, including a large and well equipped gym. Later I will also have sessions in the warm pool.

Well, that’s the buildings; not beautiful or welcoming, but functional. But this is an extremely well run place and the staff – nurses, physios, nursing aides, kitchen and cleaning staff are almost all incredibly friendly and helpful (the woman on reception being a bit of an exception).

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