New Minister of Health, consultations at 30 euros… The news is making doctors in Europe tense

New Minister of Health, consultations at 30 euros… The news is making doctors in France tense

Current health topics were jostled on Thursday February 8. Between the appointment of a new Minister of Health and the proposed increase in the price of Health Insurance consultations, liberal doctors are hardly convinced.

On February 8, Frédéric Valletoux was appointed Minister Delegate in charge of Health and Prevention under the supervision of Catherine Vautrin. The deputy, several times approached for this position, and well received by the hospital world would not, however, be unanimous among liberal doctors.

A delegate minister little appreciated by liberal doctors

Frédéric Valletoux is not a doctor. He was a journalist, Horizons parliamentarian, and mayor of Fontainebleau. A rather political profile, which nevertheless prides itself on knowing health issues well. The man in fact chaired the French Hospital Federation (FHF) between 2011 and 2022 (and therefore throughout the pandemic). “His appointment is a sign sent to the hospital. There is a lot of work to be done for the world of health, to bring it peace and give it prospects for the future, but it is capable of taking up the gauntlet” estimates François Braun dan le Parisien, Minister of Health in 2021 and 2022.

The deputy, however, does not win the support of liberal doctors who risk giving him a hard time. In question, a series of legislative proposals supposed to fight against medical deserts which would not have taken into account the realities on the ground.

Frédéric Valletoux is certainly the Minister of Health least desired by the liberal world” said Jérôme Marty, president of the UFML union (French Union for Free Medicine).

“Apart from the fact that Mr. Valletoux has accompanied the public hospital for more than 10 years and consequently the constant and continuous deterioration of its condition, from the reception of patients to the working conditions of caregivers, he is also and above all a number 1 and self-declared enemy of the liberal world” added Dr Antoine Leveneur, president of the CN URPS, interviewed by TipsForWomens. “We hope that the aggressive and insulting statements of the past will not set the tone for the necessary dialogue and exchanges that we must have with the Government in the future.” An exchange which does not bode well.

Towards a consultation price of 30 euros

This appointment of Frédéric Valletoux also comes in the middle of the resumption of conventional negotiations, after the failure of last year. Health Insurance thus proposed on February 8 to increase the consultation of the general practitioner to 30 euros (compared to 26.50 euros), an increase which corresponds to a long-standing demand of private doctors.

But Health Insurance conditions these proposals on certain commitments that the unions must make. “These price changes will only be implemented if they are accompanied by other developments in favor of improving the health of the population (such as) a new treating physician package which will be offered, integrating a public health dimension ”. Social Security also requires “improvements in access to care, in particular to find a treating doctor, facilitate the use of specialized medicine, and on the permanence of care, particularly during the first part of the night.

A condition which may not please everyone since most unions demand immediate revaluation, and without compensation. They also ask for other attractiveness measures.

“Health Insurance does not give any timetable for implementing this increase in costs, that does not suit us. We have been making this request for a price increase for seven years, so going to 30 euros corresponds to inflation since 2017. We can’t wait any longer”declares to Le Point Dr Jean-Christophe Nogrette, spokesperson for MG.

For the tariff to be accepted, a majority of unions must accept it. The negotiation could therefore be long.