Macron to overhaul France’s struggling health care system

Jan 5, 2023, 4:57 PM | Updated: Jan 6, 2023, 7:10 am

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his New Year speech to medical workers at the Centre Hosp...

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers his New Year speech to medical workers at the Centre Hospitalier Sud Francilien Hospital in the southern Paris suburban city of Corbeil-Essonnes, Friday Jan. 6, 2023. Emmanuel Macron visits a pediatric hospital and gives a new year's speech to medics, amid protests and anger over long-unresolved funding and hiring issues in France's health care system.( Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

( Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron announced an overhaul of France’s struggling health system Friday, including new funding methods for doctors and hospitals, more hiring and other organizational changes.

Macron’s speech came as many hospitals in France have reported major difficulties in recent weeks, with emergency units overwhelmed by patients with flu, COVID-19 and bronchiolitis infections.

Family doctors also went on strike during the end-of-year holiday to call for an increase in their consultation fees — currently set to 25 euros ($26) — and better working conditions.

In a speech at a hospital in Evry, a southern suburb of Paris, Macron vowed to “respond to the concerns of many of our fellow citizens (who want) to get health care within a short time … and to the concerns, anxiety, tiredness of health care professionals.”

He announced the recruitment of thousands of medical assistants to help doctors.

“Our collective challenge in the short-term is to free up some time for doctors to take care of patients … both in private practice and at hospital,” he said.

Macron announced major changes in the way hospitals get funding so that they are not penalized anymore when they do complex, time-consuming activities.

He also vowed to increase fees of doctors on condition they are involved in ensuring the continuity of health care in their area and accept new patients. Details of the changes are to be worked out in the coming months, he said.

Talks are also to be held by June about working time rules in hospitals, he said, saying the current system is inefficient.

Considered one of the best in the world, the French health care system has for many years years suffered from a shortage of doctors and other professionals, a situation aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Recent changes allowed the country to train more doctors and nurses, yet it will take years to see the impact of such measures, Macron stressed.

France’s health care system involves a state-funded health insurance that reimburses patients most of the cost of consultations, medical interventions and medicines prescribed by a doctor. In addition, the French can also apply to private insurance to increase their health coverage.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

2 hours ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

2 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

3 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

3 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

4 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

5 days ago

Macron to overhaul France’s struggling health care system