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Health and the new Government


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It is too early to say exactly what will be the effect of the change of Government on the French health service, but this article attempts a few guesses:


It seems that the new Minister will manage things herself, rather than delegating Health to an junior. Her first visit was to a public Hospital, and two priorities are to stop the practice of "dépassements d'honoraires.

" being too outrageous, and to try to improve the  service in the areas of rural France which are short of Doctors.

There is also a change of philosophy, in that the Hospital is seen as a public service, not as a business.

Three areas up for discussion are the cost of medicines, the tariffs and the  dépassements d'honoraires.

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I am wondering how they will attract doctors to rural France. There are many reasons I can think of as to why it is a very unattractive option for them.

For themselves and for their kids. And I would understand why they wouldn't want to go, especially GP's.

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idun - I think the only practical way would be some kind of guaranteed salary for rural doctors, but I can't see that happening. The 2 doctors in our village are both in their 50s and they are anxious about what will happen when they retire. Wives and children do not want to be in these country regions for all sorts of practical and social reasons. Both local doctors work alone without receptionist or secretaries - which means consultations are constantly interrupted by phone calls. Good docs but the systems are antiquated and the premises less than adequate. The older of the 2 often runs 2 hours behind with his appointments and works from 7.30 am to 9 pm plus call outs - not a life for most GPs I feel.
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I can see two (totally hypothetical) possibilities.

One is the employment of  Eastern European Doctors (I have consulted two Romanians, one an absolutely excellent Neurologist) who are prepared to work more flexibly. I think I have read of this already happening

The second would be to impose a condition on newly qualified GPs to work a certain number of years in less popular areas, as is done with new Teachers.

I have no idea if either of these are being considered by the new Government though.

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Well, my last doc died a couple of months ago which has left a problem in the village. But there is a Romanian doc in the next commune which has just built a brand new health centre so he has excellent facilities, and has picked up a lot of my late doc's patients. So far, his treatments seem excellent and I am pleased.

He is talking of moving to our village if the commune will make a decent health centre available, so await developments on that front.

The French government spoke recently of restricting doctors practising in the choicer areas, particularly down south, not sure what came of it. Certainly, many years ago, some students could have their fees paid for them if they undertook to work for the government for 10 or so years - this applied particularly to teaching, so it would not seem to be such an outrageous idea.

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