The promises of an integral healthcare solution for every legal resident in France are long-owed by the welfare state. The importance of reaching out with programs related to prevention and first aid are crucial for an integral assessment on health country-wide. Read on to find out which the promises that have been accomplished are and which aren´t.
Statutory Healthcare Insurance (SHI)
France takes healthcare very seriously and every year almost 12% of the GDP goes to health-related issues. There´s a part of that budget that is dedicated to the care of the older, disabled and prevention and the other part is destined to the execution of the healthcare practices themselves in the hands of practitioners, physicians and such. This is the first big promise about the Statutory Healthcare Insurance: every legal resident of France will have equal access to the best healthcare.
While it is the big promise, reality shows differently and the healthcare system in France has a very distinct reach to different economical stratus despite government efforts. This is evident in many ways, for example the access to practitioners is radically different in the rural areas and the big cities. Not so much because of the budget dedicated to it by the government but basically because the system is not branched out efficiently enough. Rather than the amount of money is the money distribution that makes a difference.
Another weak point of the system is the mental health sector in which the specialists and general practitioners have uneven percentages of prescribing medication. There is currently a flat fee for the general practitioners that is different (lower) than the one being charged by specialists of a certain matter. This results in people going to mental health consultations to general practitioners because of a money issue. Furthermore, this increases the gap going against the very foundations of the system, because the ones who have access to the specialists are the ones who can afford it and live in an area where there is one available. No psychological treatment is funded by the State leaving those who can afford it in the hands of a psychiatrist and taking medication to solve any kind of trauma or mental illness.
While the healthcare system in France has a long way to go, there are efforts being made from the government to close the gap and have an integral coverage for all citizens. The importance of the SHI for French people is huge and it can be thought as a leap into a brighter future. The process of implementation will involve closing the gaps currently existing in the programs and when that happens, the population will be fully covered.