• France's news in English

France set to eliminate up-front GP fees

Dan MacGuill · 23 Sep 2013, 10:13

Published: 23 Sep 2013 10:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

By 2017, France is set to entirely phase out up-front fees for GP consultations, French Health Minister Marisol Touraine announced on Monday.

“Between now and 2017, when you go to see your doctor, you’ll no longer have to pay the cost of the consultation up front,” she said in an interview with French daily Libération.

“And starting from the end of next year, insurers will directly pay the medical expenses of families with modest incomes,” Touraine added.

That’s in contrast to the current situation in France, where only those covered by CMU-C (universal health coverage) or AME (State medical aid) can avoid up-front fees for visiting their GP or buying medicine at the pharmacy.

SEE ALSO: Patients in France being sent for 'pointless tests'

Under the ‘tiers payant’ scheme, GPs and pharmacists are not paid up front by a sick person, but rather by the insurer – whether public or private.

Touraine’s announcement on Monday will mean that by 2017, all users will be able to avoid GP fees, even if they don’t have a Carte Vitale – France’s national health insurance card.

As part of the government’s overall health strategy, Touraine also unveiled a plan to install some 300 multi-disciplinary health centres to serve areas of France where there is a lack of medical cover.

“Medical deserts,” as they are known in France, are parts of the country where doctor-patient ratios are significantly lower than average, often due to a slow local economy or aging population.

To entice young medical professionals to live and work in such areas, Touraine announced a significant subsidy: “We’re assuring [such doctors] a guaranteed monthly income of €3,600,” she told Libération.

Story continues below…

Touraine said 200 local doctors will be in place by the end of the year.

The health minister also said the goverment wants to change the system of patient records so that it will become easier for health professionals to exchange information, which would be of most benefit to the elderly and those suffering from chronic disease.

Don't miss stories like this - join The Local France on Facebook and Twitter 

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available