The executive is trying to find remedies for the lack of doctors. On Monday, the government promised that Social Security would solicit patients and doctors so that victims of chronic illnesses without a treating doctor would be “offered a solution before the end of the year”.
The operation constitutes “the biggest campaign ‘to go to’ our fellow citizens who have been far from care since the Covid crisis”, underlined the Minister of Health François Braun, traveling to the Primary Health Insurance Fund of Val de Marne.
700,000 chronic patients targeted
Concretely, the health insurance funds will contact by the summer each patient with long-term illness (ALD) without a treating doctor in order to offer them help in finding a reference practitioner. The funds will also turn to general practitioners to encourage those who can to follow patients with a chronic disease, especially those who already go home from time to time.
Some 6 million French people have no attending physician. About 700,000 of them suffer from ALD, such as diabetes, cancer or even a psychiatric condition, underlines the executive. “It’s dramatic because without a doctor, there is a renunciation of care,” said François Braun.
Admittedly, the absence of a attending physician does not prevent some of the chronically ill – around a quarter according to the executive – from consulting a doctor. However, 11% of these patients did not see any practitioner in town in 2021, compared to only 2% of those who have a reference doctor, assures the executive.
The government remains cautious about the expected results of its canvassing campaign. Many doctors say they are already overwhelmed. Their number is decreasing with retirements. At the same time, the number of chronically ill people tends to increase, in particular due to the aging of the population. It is a question of “stabilizing this curve at first and then reversing it”, explained François Braun on Monday.
And to emphasize that Social Security will have to carry out “ant work” and do “tailor-made”. Many patients do have difficulty finding a doctor, while others, although followed by a doctor, have not been officially registered as a regular patient. “We want with the National Health Insurance Fund to facilitate these administrative procedures so that it is also simpler for health professionals,” said François Braun.
Objectif en 2027
As part of the National Council for Refoundation, the executive undertook in the fall that each Frenchman who wishes to have a doctor “by the end of the five-year term”. To achieve this objective, the government counted in particular at the beginning of the year on the renewal of the medical agreement signed between Social Security and liberal doctors.
The draft agreement, rejected at the end of February by the unions, planned to increase more particularly the price of consultations (from 25 to 30 euros) for doctors who undertook to “increase the medical offer” and to “participate in the care needs of the territory”. For example by increasing their patient base or opening their practice on Saturdays. It also planned to pay 60 euros for consultations with victims of chronic illness over the age of 80, at the rate of two consultations per year.