While Gabriel Attal said he was in favor of the “rabbit tax”, a question arises. Can doctors refuse to treat an unscrupulous patient? Answer.
The doctor has the right to refuse care
While access to care is increasingly difficult for the French, and every day, thousands of medical appointments are not honored, Gabriel Attal has decided to be firm with patients. He therefore advocates the establishment of a “rabbit tax”.
“When we don’t come to a medical appointment without warning, we pay!”, he declared this Tuesday, January 30, during his general policy declaration.
The Prime Minister indeed wishes “empower the French” who do not keep their medical appointments.
Today, do doctors have the right to dismiss, quickly or out of weariness, certain unscrupulous patients?
It seems so. According to article R.4127-47 of the Public Health Code, in force since August 8, 2004, all “doctor has the right to refuse care for professional or personal reasons“.
And this, whatever the reasons: disagreement, bad behavior of the patient, numerous appointments not honoured…
“When we feel that there is no longer a relationship of trust with a patient, we can end this relationship.”, explains Jean-Christophe Nogrette, general practitioner and deputy secretary general of MG Europe to our colleagues on 20 minutes. “This happens from time to time in all patients..”
Moreover, according to the URPS Grand Est survey – conducted among 517 active private doctors in the Grand Est – 51.6% of them blacklist their patient after 1 or 2 warnings.
Patient refusal: what are the limits?
This ousting of the patient still has limits. The same article of the Public Health Code affirms that this right exists.except in cases of emergency and those where (the doctor) fails in his duties of humanity“.
It is also specified that “continuity of care for patients must be ensured” And this,”whatever the circumstances“.
The doctor is therefore obliged to find a new doctor to meet the medical needs of the patient. This one must “ttransmit to the doctor designated by him the information useful for the continuation of care”, assures the deputy general secretary of MG Europe.
The patient must also be informed of this procedure. Basically, the doctor does not, under any circumstances, need to justify his decision.
Unhonored appointments: what do doctors want?
Still according to the URPS Grand Est survey, 89% of the doctors questioned would like the patient to be “better aware” on their behavior and access to care – in order to reduce the phenomenon of unfulfilled appointments.
They also want to penalize the patient financially (non-refundable penalty by Social Security) in order to make them responsible.
Another measure put forward: paying the doctor a flat rate for these consultations not honored (CB imprint, subsequent invoicing, etc.).
Finally, via a report to social security organizations, CPAM, mutual societies, doctors wish to force the patient to carry out “joint accountability actions” to make him a better citizen.