Medical carpooling: why this measure is not taken in Europe

Medical carpooling: why this measure is not taken in France

Since this morning, hundreds of taxis have been on strike. They denounce one of the measures of the 2024 Social Security budget, which requires them to group several patients together during medical transport. Update on the situation.

The announcement of measures linked to the 2024 Social Security budget did not only make people happy. Taxis, on strike this Monday, December 11, are fiercely opposed to “compulsory health carpooling”, which has been imposed on them. A measure, which requires drivers to group several sick patients in their vehicles.

A “waste of time” according to taxis

What is the measure that is making the National Taxi Union scream? Article 30 of the Social Security financing law. This provides that if a patient refuses to share an approved taxi or a vehicle from a medical transport company with other patients, then the reimbursement of transport costs will be reduced by a penalty.

For the government, this measure makes it possible to improve the transport offer and reduce costs. According to him, shared transport made it possible to reduce Health Insurance expenses by 34 million euros in 2022.

For their part, drivers fear not only that this new process favors health companies, but that as a bonus, it lengthens the waiting time for patients (from 2 to 3 hours, between the patients’ homes and the health center targeted).

In fact, the National Taxi Union encouraged drivers to demonstrate throughout Europe this Monday, December 11. “Snail operations” and “filter dams” have been set up in many cities such as Paris, Toulouse, Marseille and Lille.

“The patient is no longer the decision-maker”

The president of the National Taxi Union, Rachid Boudjema, denounces, at the microphone of BFMTV, a “article of law which was made on the sly, behind the backs of taxis”.

We ask that the patient be able to regain his rights and that he can choose his carrier himself.“, he proclaims.

Furthermore, he believes that it is “taxi to offer shared transport to the patient (…) Let’s not add an additional burden to the patient“.

For his part, the vice-president of the Béarn Pays Basque Taxis Trade Union Chamber, believes that the “patient is no longer at the center of transport“.

He will be forced to be in a medical pick-up for his appointments, with longer waiting times before and after, and detours of sometimes 50 km before returning home.“, he concludes.

It remains to be seen whether the government will listen to the concerns of taxi drivers.