What are Gabriel Attal’s latest announcements to improve access to care?

What are Gabriel Attal's latest announcements to improve access to care?

The Prime Minister wants to improve access to healthcare for the French. In the regional daily press, he detailed several health proposals this weekend. Find out the essentials about these announcements.

Too complicated to make an appointment with a specialist? Or to see a doctor quickly? Gabriel Attal wants to facilitate access to care. The Prime Minister made several announcements in the regional press this weekend.

Prescriptions possible in pharmacy

Prescribing medication is normally reserved for the doctor. But according to Gabriel Attal, this role will be able to be taken on by pharmacists in two very specific cases from the month of June. It will no longer be necessary to go to your doctor to obtain antibiotics:

  • In case of angina;
  • In case of simple cystitis (inflammation of the bladder).

According to figures, these two pathologies represent 9 million appointments each year. This would therefore mean that many places would be freed up.

Appointments made directly with specialists

Until now, to consult a specialist doctor, you must first go through your GP, following “a coordinated care pathway“But an experiment will be launched in 13 departments to allow patients to go directly to see a physiotherapist without a prescription and to make an appointment directly with a specialist doctor without first consulting their GP.

Physiotherapists thus join other specialties for which it is already not necessary to go through your attending physician, namely gynecologists and midwives, ophthalmologists, psychiatrists and neuropsychiatrists (if the patient is between 16 and 25 years old), dentists and stomatologists (for oral and dental procedures).

An extension of the MonSoutienPsy system

From June, the specialized MonSoutienPsy system will see the number of reimbursed sessions increase to 12 compared to 8 currently. The amount of the session will be increased (50 euros compared to 30 euros currently) and patients will be able to go directly to the psychologist without going through a health professional.

Opticians will be able to adapt the lenses

Opticians will have the freedom”to adapt glasses without having the patient go back to the ophthalmologist”, according to Gabriel Attal. A possibility which will still have a limit: in the event of major vision correction, an appointment with the ophthalmologist will however remain necessary.

Free up time to care

To give doctors time back and reduce administrative tasks, 10,000 medical assistants will be recruited by the end of 2024. This measure should free up 2.5 million appointments according to Gabriel Attal.

A “rabbit tax” officially enshrined in law

Standing up to your doctor is going to be punished. An appointment not honored or not canceled less than 24 hours before will be charged 5 euros from January 1, 2025 for the patient who did not attend an appointment without canceling it. A sanction which will be enshrined in law.

More places in second year of medicine

Gabriel Attal also announced the training of additional doctors by opening more places at university. There will be 12,000 per year in 2025 and up to 16,000 per year in 2027 compared to 8,150 medical places in 2017. 2,700 foreign doctors trained outside the European Union will arrive in French hospitals this spring.

An “emergency plan” for permanent care

The government is also launching a “emergency plan” for the four million French people who do not have doctors on call, in the evenings and on weekends. He “is based on financial assistance and the responsibility of doctors to ensure ongoing care throughout the country. So that every French person has a doctor on call less than 30 minutes from home, in the evenings and on weekends”.

Announcements freshly welcomed by the unions

Can these announcements really make a change in the daily lives of patients and doctors? On the union side, the reception is either cautious or severe.

Jean-Paul Hamon, general practitioner and honorary president of the Federation of Doctors of Europe, describes, for example, these announcements as “measures”. “They want the population to believe that general medicine is a succession of small acts that can be carried out by pharmacists, physiotherapists, nurses or teleconsultation booths.he accused yesterday on BFM.

It is in particular direct contact with specialists that strains the profession. “The concept of treating doctor, of referring doctor is something that was established with the profession (…). There, we would like to shunt to go directly to the specialist” deplored Jérôme Marty, general practitioner and president of the union French Union for Free Medicine (UFML-S) on the same channel.

For the president of the first general practitioners’ union, MG Europe, Agnès Giannotti, it is also a problem of timing that is wrong. These announcements “arrive point blank, at the very moment when we are negotiating with Health Insurance, precisely to improve access to care. This deconstructs our work.”

Finally, on Europe info, Gilles Noël, vice-president of the association of rural mayors of Europe also recalled that these announcements would not really solve the problems in rural areas. Concerning the famous rabbit tax for example, he remains doubtful: “For the six million French people who do not have a referring doctor, the rabbit tax will not be imposed since it is the cross and the banner to be able to access a doctor..