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GPs now want €25 consultation fee

Doctors' unions campaign for another increase in standard fee, five months after last increase

GPs have called for another increase in the standard consultation fee charged to patients - up from €23 to €25.

Two of France's biggest doctors' unions, CSMF and the Syndicat des Médecins Libéraux, say the higher fees will "make people want to become independent GPs again" - addressing the issue of "medical deserts" where rural areas struggle to attract enough doctors.

The basic consultation fee for GPs rose from €22 to €23 in January after a long campaign by doctors - many of whom introduced the price rise several months early without formal permission.

The unions are also calling for better pay for specialist treatments such as paediatrics or dermatology, and a new performance-related bonus scheme, which could see doctors boost their pay by up to €15,000 a year.

GPs would be free to choose whether or not to join the performance-based initiative. They would be assessed against a number of criteria including efficiency and public health goals such as detecting and preventing cancer.

The unions have put their suggestions to the Assurance Maladie and hope to resume negotiations next month.

The director of the Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie, Frédéric Van Roekeghem, told Les Echos: "The consultation fee has just gone up from €22 to €23. A further increase is not a priority."

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