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French GPs urged to strike over Christmas

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French GPs urged to strike over Christmas
Don't be ill over Christmas in France. Stethoscope photo: Shutterstock
17:14 CEST+02:00
You might have more reason than ever not to fall sick over Christmas if you're in France this year. GPs are being urged by unions to shut up their surgeries over the Christmas period in protest against a new government health bill.

If you’re planning to spending your Christmas holidays in France you’d be advised to take extra care of yourself, as the doors of your local doctors’ surgery may well be closed.

The French doctors union UNOF-CSMF on Monday called all French GPs to go on strike between December 24th and 31st this year in protest against a new health bill announced over the weekend, L'Express reported.

Another doctors union, MG France, has called for strike action on January 6th - a traditional public holiday.

Presented on Saturday by French Health Minister Marisol Touraine, the bill includes a raft of measures including the establishment of a territorial public health department controlled by regional health authorities (ARS).

Another controversial measure includes the capping of the consultation fee which has stayed at €23 since 2011, which the union describes as “unworthy of the required skills and insufficient”.

Under the new law, pharmacists would also be given the authority to carry out certain vaccinations on patients. 

“For months there have been different measures ignoring the reality of the overall care and quality of the patient by their GP,” the UNOF-CSMF union was quoted as saying by L’Express.

The union is now asking the government to open negotiations.

SEE ALSO: Five key reforms of France's healthcare bill

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