France creates website to upload Covid self-test results

People in France who use a Covid-19 self-testing kit will be invited to upload their results to a new website launched by the health ministry on Monday.

France creates website to upload Covid self-test results
Self-testing kits are available in French pharmacies. Photo: Fred TANNEAU / AFP

The French health ministry publishes detailed daily data on the number of positive Covid tests in France, but until now this has only included people whose test was done by a testing centre, medical centre or pharmacy.

Now, however, the government has created a website to allow people to report the results of tests done at home with the self-test kits.

Whether the test is positive or negative, you will be able to report your results to the website  Users will be required to create an account on the CyberLab platform. The test results will be stored for three months before being automatically deleted.

The French government advises people who have received a positive result from a self-testing kit to confirm the results by taking a PCR test. This allows Assurance Maladie to begin the process of contact tracing.

However, there is no way of forcing people to take a PCR test after testing themselves at home. According to Le Parisien, the goal of the new website is to make sure all positive tests can be followed up with contact tracing, although it relies on people voluntarily uploading their results.

Home-testing kits are available in pharmacies for a maximum price of €6 and will this summer be widely distributed on beaches, campsites, hotels and other tourist spots, health minister Olivier Véran has announced.

Click HERE for a complete guide to how the home-test kits work.

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French doctors to stage more strikes in February

General practitioners in France are planning another industrial action that will see doctors' offices closed as they call for better investment in community healthcare.

French doctors to stage more strikes in February

Primary care doctors in France announced plans to strike again in February, after walkouts in December and over the Christmas-New Year holidays in early January.

The strike will take place on Tuesday, February 14th, and it comes just a few weeks ahead of the end-of-February deadline where France’s social security apparatus, Assurance Maladie, must reach an agreement to a structure for fees for GPs for the next five years.

Hospital doctors in France are largely barred from striking, but community healthcare workers such as GPs are self-employed and therefore can walk out. 

Their walk-out comes amid mass strike actions in February over the French government’s proposed pension reform. You can find updated information on pensions strikes HERE.

Previous industrial action led to widespread closures of primary care medical offices across the country. In December, strike action saw between 50 to 70 percent of doctor’s surgeries closed.

READ MORE: Urgent care: How to access non-emergency medical care in France

New concerns among GPs

According to reporting by La Depeche, in the upcoming strike in February primary care doctors will also be walking out over a new fear – the possibility of compulsory ‘on-call’ hours.

Currently, French GPs take on-call hours on a voluntary basis. Obligatory on-call time for primary care doctors was scrapped in the early 2000s after GPs mobilised against the requirement.

However, representatives from the Hospital Federation have called for it to be reinstated in order to help relieve emergency services.

Additionally, GPs are calling for Saturday shifts to considered as part of their standard working week, in order to allow for a two-day weekend.

Striking primary care doctors are more broadly calling for actions by the government and Assurance Maladie to help make the field more appealing to younger physicians entering the profession, as the country faces more medical deserts, and for working conditions to be improved.

Those walking out hope to see administrative procedures to be simplified and for the basic consultation fee – typically capped to €25 – to be doubled to €50.

In France patients pay the doctor upfront for a visit, and then a portion of the fee is reimbursed by the government via the carte vitale health card.