Health system in France

According to the World Health Organization, the health system in France is one of the best European systems, due to the excellent quality of care provided to patients.

What is it based on?

Among other factors, the general state of health of the population, the satisfaction with its operation and the distribution of the financing charges of the system. In figures, France invests 11.8% of its GDP in health, 9.2% destined to the improvement of public services like veterinary ( renseignement téléphonique geoallo ), and the remaining 2.6%, on private institutions. In addition, it is essential to highlight the three fundamental principles on which the French health system is based: Equal access to healthcare, the quality of medical services and solidarity.

Why is it so good?

The budget administration is under the National Wage Insurance Fund for Salaried Workers (CNAMTS), although the preparation of its budget depends on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The decentralized system accounts with 16 regional boxes and 128 departmental. While the rates of public centers are set by the administration, private rates depend on the area of specialization and the flexible budgets, the global budgets of the hospitals are negotiated between the Hospital, the State and the Regional Boxes. Another factor is financing with co-payment. The investment of the French Health System is determined by the mandatory contribution of employees and companies, and various co-payment systems.

 How does it work?

100% coverage of the population. The general Social Security scheme covers non-agricultural wage earners and civil servants, while the special regime covers farmers, self-employed workers, students, retirees, unemployed, religious, etc. The health insurance. It is a branch of compulsory social security for all employees and covers 85% of the population. Better use of resources. The pharmaceutical and medical assistance expenses must be paid by the patient, later reimbursed by the social security. With this, the expenses, sometimes exaggerated, and the unjustified use of resources are reduced. The co-payment that the patient must assume. It supposes between 20 and 30% depending on the type of benefit received, although the chronically ill, handicapped, pregnant women and people with low income are exempt from this contribution. Complementary insurance. It is owned by around 70% of the population, which allows them to avoid advance payment. Free choice of doctor and hospital. In addition to a benefit for the patient, it is a great stimulus, both for the centers and for the health, because it allows them to be in constant evolution and seek the highest excellence in their services. The new challenge for Health Managers is, therefore, to understand the needs of a health sector in crisis, assess the implementation of efficient management, optimize available resources and adapt other external policies that, as in the case of France, They are proving effective.


Operation of the Health System in France

In France, all citizens have the right to access Basic Social Security. If you have French Social Security, then automatically all your dependents under the age of 20 as well as your partner are covered unless they are considered independent. Normally, the French Social Security, only offers basic coverage, therefore, it is advisable to have a private medical insurance that complements the rest of services. On many occasions, when it comes to people without resources, the complementary insurance is free and is called CMU-complementary. There is also a State Medical Assistance, which can be requested by people with scarce resources and who do not yet have a residence permission. Together with the Permanent Health Care Services (PASS, Permanences d'accès aux soins de santé), they allow free healthcare to be received by doctors, hospitals and dentists.

Coverage of the Health System in France

Within the French social security system, we can find two types of regime: the General Regime for salaried non-agricultural workers and civil servants. And the special regime for students, retirees, self-employed, etc. However, regardless of the regime, the entire French population is covered. If you are a foreign student and want to get a private insurance, the best known insurance is The LMDE (La Mutuelle des Étudiants).

The Student Mutual (LMDE)

It is primarily a social security center but also a French health mutual targeting students. It was created by the decree of 28 April 2000 which gives it the right to manage student social security throughout France. It fills the void left by the National Mutual of Students of France (MNEF) which disappears that year following a number of excesses. The LMDE has a public service delegation for the management of student social security and is also a mutual complementary health. Whether you are insured or beneficiary, social protection is guaranteed through the social security doctor called l'Assurance maladie. This type of insurance reimburses partially or totally the expenses incurred due to medical consultations, hospital stays, and it is even possible that the insured receives compensation for lost wages in case of needing a sick leave.

Now, within this medical insurance we can find different categories:

One is the Basic social security: all citizens who live regularly in the country for at least 3 months are entitled to it. It usually works as follows; when a medical consultation is made, the entire cost has to be paid and later the social security usually reimburses 2/3 of the expenses except in the case of lenses or dental prostheses. However, in some centers it is possible to take charge only of 1/3 of the costs presenting the document that proves that you are affiliated with social security.  The other one is PASS - Permanent services for access to health care (permanences d'accès aux soins de santé) aimed at those who are not affiliated with the social security service and do not have a private doctor or dentist ( dentiste de garde dimanche ) and urgently need medical attention. . According to the French Law, all public hospitals must offer this service free of charge.

Normally, both the cost of the medication and that of the medical visits must be paid by the patient. However, later they will be paid by the state. That is why, in order to avoid payment, many French people end up making private insurance. The chronically ill, handicapped, pregnant and people with limited economic resources are exempt from payment. Also in France, the free choice of doctor and hospital is allowed, which generates an incentive to the staff to be in constant evolution and growth.