Health: these last-minute reforms for doctors, pharmacists, and patients revolutionize access to healthcare.

The executive was taken by surprise with the sudden dissolution of the Assembly, but the government managed to pass crucial health reforms just before the legislative elections. Here is an overview of the key changes that directly affect healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists, and nurses, as well as hospitals and patients:

  • Improvement of working conditions for medical staff.
  • Extension of pharmacy opening hours to better serve the population.
  • Implementation of new strategies to reduce waiting times in hospitals.

These measures aim to strengthen our healthcare system and ensure better patient care. By focusing on these essential reforms, the government hopes to significantly improve the quality of medical services offered to the public.

Increased income for doctors

After months of negotiations, liberal doctors’ unions and the Health Insurance finally reached an agreement in early June. This new convention, approved by the ministers on June 20, brings several significant changes for the medical profession.

General practitioners will see their remuneration increase. The basic consultation fee will rise from 26.50 to 30 euros by the end of December. This long-awaited measure should improve the daily lives of practitioners.

These decisions mark an important step after an initial cycle of unsuccessful discussions in 2023. Professionals hope that these increases will not only attract more young people to this profession but also improve the quality of care provided to patients.

In conclusion, this new convention between medical unions and Health Insurance represents a major advancement in the French medical sector:

  • Increase in consultation fees
  • Better financial recognition for doctors
  • Possibility to attract more young people to this profession
  • Help to strengthen the quality of care provided to patients
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Overall, these developments represent a new and promising outlook for the future of the healthcare system in France.

Strengthening rules for young nurse substitutes

Starting July 1, a new decree requires young paramedics to work for at least two years before being able to work as substitutes. This change aims to ensure stable hospital teams and better quality care.

The decision follows a series of measures aimed at reducing costs for hospitals and strengthening the cohesion of medical teams. Indeed, the remuneration of substitute doctors had already been capped in 2023. The Private Hospital Federation welcomes this initiative, emphasizing that a stable team is essential to provide quality care.

These changes mainly affect new nurses, nursing assistants, and specialized educators who will need to gain more experience before accessing temporary positions. Lamine Gharbi, spokesperson for the federation, emphasizes the importance of having experienced staff to improve the overall functioning of medical establishments.

Better supervision of health centers

To combat fraud in dental and ophthalmology health centers against the Social Security system, increased supervision has been voted for. A law adopted more than a year ago now requires these centers to obtain accreditation from the Regional Health Agency (ARS). A recent decree specifies the details of this new regulation. Among these clarifications, a new fine scale for violations of established rules has been introduced.

Authorities have decided to take firm action against abuses observed in certain establishments. The new measures aim to ensure better regulation and monitoring of activities. By obtaining this mandatory accreditation, each center must strictly comply with the standards defined by the ARS.

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These changes mark an important step towards more rigorous management of the medical sector concerned, with the primary objective of protecting rights and public finances. Sanctions in case of non-compliance now include:

  • Significant financial fines.
  • The possibility of temporary or permanent suspension of activity.
  • The obligation to reimburse improperly received amounts.

With these new measures, the government hopes to deter any fraudulent attempts and ensure better quality of services provided to patients.

Antibiotics without prescription in pharmacies

People suffering from sore throat or urinary infection can now go to the pharmacy to obtain antibiotics without a prescription. These medications are reimbursed by Health Insurance, but there are conditions to be met. The pharmacist must be trained in screenings and a positive test must be performed.

This innovation aims to relieve doctors and improve the use of antibiotics. Planned since last fall, this measure was confirmed by a decree published in June following negotiations between pharmacists and Health Insurance.

Philippe Besset of the pharmacists’ union (FSPF) emphasizes that this is a major advancement for the profession: pharmacists become prescribers of medications, redefining their role in the healthcare system.

Adjustments to guide patients via the emergency number 15

To facilitate access to care for patients, especially in case of emergency or if their doctor is unavailable, the government has decided to generalize Access to Care Services (SAS) throughout the territory. These services are accessible by phone via the number 15.

A decree issued in mid-June specified how these SAS should operate. The Ministry of Health emphasizes that this decree brings several relaxations compared to previous rules.

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General practitioners will now be able to guide patients over the phone without having to physically go to the 15 control center. According to the Minister Delegate for Health, Frédéric Valletoux, these SAS will gradually help relieve the burden on emergency services.

This measure aims to improve the efficiency and responsiveness of medical care in France, making access to urgent medical consultations smoother and less stressful for patients.

Many pending issues

The dissolution disrupted a key executive project aimed at improving emergency management. This project concerned the distribution of shifts between public hospitals and clinics. Nonetheless, the ministry persists in its efforts to make progress on this crucial issue.

Many healthcare professionals are still awaiting the implementation of long-standing promises. For example, a complete overhaul of the nursing training and profession had been announced long ago. The end of the current government could complicate the achievement of this already challenging project.

The unstable political context is therefore likely to affect several important projects in the healthcare sector:

  • Reorganization of medical shifts
  • Update of nursing training
  • Improvement of working conditions

Expectations are high among professionals who hope to see these changes become a reality despite current political obstacles.

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