Good news on health deficit

The deficit of the health branch of social security last year was €900 million less than had been expected

9 April 2012

PROGRESS is being made on the problem of social security deficit, new figures show.

There is good news on this important front for France’s finances, says director of the health branch of social security Frédéric Van Roekeghem.

The deficit of the branch (concerned with funding/reimbursement of healthcare) was 8.6 billion euros last year, down from 11.6 billion in 2010 – that is 900 million better than had been predicted.

This is partly due to management costs decreasing because of more use of the internet, and staff cuts, Mr Van Roekeghem said.

The figure is expected to lower again significantly this year, he added. “It will be brought down to half of what it was in 2004, or even less, despite the fact the 2008-2009 economic crisis was unprecedented,” he told Les Echos.

He added: “The situation is not so terrible as you might think. Equilibrium is within our reach without having to launch into brutal reforms as some people recommend.”

The comments contrast with the views of employers’ body Medef, which recently stated that the state health insurance system was “on the verge of bankruptcy”. It has urged the presidential candidates to prioritise a radical overhaul.

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