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The Evolving Government Outlook On Healthcare In France

Healthcare is one of the most important themes on every country´s agenda. Most citizens take it as a decisive asset that defines the quality of life they can have. It can actually become the main reason why they would live in one country instead of another. France has not been an exception in this sense and has dedicated lots of time and resources to assure French people have access to state-of-the-art health assistance.

French Government And Health Provision

French Government takes on the provision of health insurance as a national state affair. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health and Women´s Rights. The strategy is defined at a national level and then executed locally. The parliament is always involved in passing (or not) the laws resulting of the negotiations between the State and all the provider´s representatives.

Budgets and providers are defined on a macro level and then executed at a micro level.

The State is also responsible for the budget expenditures, allocating them in the hundreds of hospitals in the entire country.

Also, other sectors of health coverage like services for the disabled, mental health institutions and ambulatory care are coordinated and supervised by the same ministry. Each region has its own local version; it branches out to have presence in every corner of the country.

Other responsibilities in the jurisdiction of this department are the prevention and the tasks that are related to social care. Fostering good health habits and bringing care to the people instead of passively waiting for them to have a problem and go for it is always the best bet for governments and France is no exception at it either. The strategy also takes into account the elderly citizens and disabled people who require special and extra attention. Those are managed by the General Councils at a regional level implementing the national-wide strategy in a more specific way.

Statutory Health Insurance (SHI)

The amount of money directed to the SHI in France is very high reaching almost the 12% of the GDP. This is one of the highest ratios in the world; by year 2016, France was located in the 6th position worldwide. Most of that money comes from the French State, approximately 77% is provided by the agencies that the State funded for that purpose. It is one of the priorities of the agenda to make Statutory Health Insurance reach as much people as possible for prevention and also for treatment.

The French Government is in charge of pricing the services and also setting a scale of premium levels of access according to the incomes of each person and family. The operational management as well as the financial one is a state responsibility. The refunds in treatments are very close to 70% usually for all treatments except for those with a very high cost or chronic treatments that are refunded (mostly) at 100%.

Mutual Insurers And Nonprofit Institutions

This health insurance is compulsory and is funded by the pockets of all French people who pay taxes.

Most additional support is provided by nonprofit private insurers that usually respond to a mutual association of some kind. The additional entities providing insurance are for-profit and also referred as Assurance complémentaire. Although these are private organizations (profit or non-profit) they are supervised and follow the State´s commands in terms of pricing and delivery. The Régime Général is the name given to the General Fund that covers 85% of the French population whether active workers or not. To access this coverage all you have to do is to be a legal French resident.

The Long Road To Now

This scheme in which most French people are being covered by some kind of health insurance has not always been like this. Unlike other European Potencies, the struggle for a National Health Coverage law took almost twenty years and was only passed in 1902. By the year 1945, after the World War II ended, the current health system bases were laid and the foundations ended up being the present form after the 2001 Social Security Founding Act that compels all French residents to pay for a mandatory health insurance and receive coverage in return.

French has gone a long way to now, but can be proud of a great-working health system for all French residents.