Health System in France

Health System in France The history of France Health System can be traced from 1930s when the system was in place to cover for the working class. This type of health system never covered for the elderly individuals in the society. The system was compulsory for the employed with exception of agricultural workers. Health insurances in France were obtained from fraternal associations in 1930s. Because of pressure from unions, which demanded for compulsory healthcare/insurance, Confederation des Syndecats Medicaux Francais (CSMF) was formed. This led to the development of a charter, which stated that; fee was to be paid for health service accorded and individuals had the choice to choose any physician they liked. The charter advocated for direct fee payment, which was to be directed by doctors. The charter has been in place from 1930s to date (Johnston & Stoskopf, pg 46). The health care system in France ensures the provision of cover to all residents. This follows the reforms in 2000, which charged the government with the task of providing healthcare to individuals or citizens who are incapable of financing their own health bills. The health system is characterized by health insurances that cover healthcare, prescription drugs and ambulatory care. The insurance also caters for least cost of outpatients with eye infections and dental problems. Cost sharing is effected in the healthcare system in three forms; co-insurance, co-payment and extra payment. Co-insurance, which provides cover for all healthcare scenarios, is influenced by; patient, drug and the care type insured. Co-payment occurs between the doctor and the patient where the patient is required to pay for the services offered by the doctor. Extra payment is because of over-charging by the doctors or dentists for quality services provided. The France health system is financed on three levels; government, public, and private levels. Under the public-financed health system, finances are obtained from taxes paid by employers, employees, income tax, businesspersons in the form of taxes levied on alcohol and tobacco, and other substantial transfers from social securities. Under the government, the financing is mainly through public health insurance. The spending of this package is authorized by the parliament each calendar year. Private insurance covers healthcare cost already covered in the government package. Under this scheme, cost-sharing criteria offer the required funds to effect the project. This illustrates that, the funding of healthcare system in France is provided by taxes and packages (Healthcare Report, pg 9-7). The accessibility of healthcare services varies with socio-economic status in France. This is clearly expressed in the types of insurance covers subscribed by an individual. Those who are economically strong purchase insurance covers that are expensive and offers many benefits as compared to cheap cover by the poor/economically weak. The benefits enjoyed by individuals who cannot purchase insurance cover enjoy limited benefits provided by the government. This shows that the benefits enjoyed by those with higher economic status are out of their reach. They are incapable of paying the required co-payment daily fee of approximately $ 25, thus subscribes to the cheap insurance covers. Some of the challenges faced by health system in France include; financial constrains/lack of enough funds to finance the healthcare system, and lack of transparency in healthcare sector as some officials in this department are corrupt and continuously embezzle funds set aside for development of the health sector. Tax evasion affects the health system as it limits the funds available for healthcare system. Inequality in the society is a challenge the government has to deal with in the health system. Since this type of system covers the whole country’s population, the government is charged with the responsibility to provide cover for the less privileged members of the society, who are incapable of financing their covers. This is expensive in terms of cost, which is extended to taxpayers. France healthcare system contrasts the vastly from the American healthcare system. In terms of the cost, France healthcare system directs almost 11% of the country’s GDP while America’s spending in the healthcare system is approximately 16% of the GDP. This indicates that healthcare system in America is more expensive than the cost of healthcare in France. This placed the French system fourth and American 37th in the ranking done by WHO in 2001. On the quality of services provided, France healthcare system has better package compared to the package presented by American healthcare system. Private healthcare spending in France is lower than that of America. The money paid directly for healthcare services in America are also high than similar costs of services in France (Johnston & Stoskopf, pg 46). American and France healthcare systems are similar in the perception of equity. They all take into consideration the less privileged, elderly or poor members of the society. They offer cover through insurance covers aided by government financing. In conclusion, the two healthcare systems could borrow great deal from one another in order to enhance the quality of services offered or covered. The universal type of healthcare system proves to be effective in catering for the healthcare needs in France. It could also perform well in America to cover the vast society with admired equity level. Works Cited œHealthcare Report. Healthcare Industry Report: France 2 (2010): 9-17. Business Source Complete. Web. 29 Mar. 2012. Cowling, Dan. œComparing Healthcare Systems. Geography Review 23.2 (2009): 7. EDS Foundation Index. Web. 29 Mar. 2012. Johnson, James A, and Carleen H. Stoskopf. Comparative Health Systems: Global Perspectives. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2010. Internet resource. Niles, Nancy J. Basics of the U.S. Health Care System. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Print.

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