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No more up-front payment at GPs

Doctors will be paid directly by Assurance Maladie and not by patient

PATIENTS will no longer have to pay their GP directly for consultations under changes to the tiers payant system announced by Health Minister Marisol Touraine.

At present patients must pay the doctor in advance and reclaim the money from the Assurance Maladie and, if they have one, their health insurance scheme.

Ms Touraine said that the change would be brought in from the end of next year for low-income households and would be extended to all households by the end of 2017.

The system of direct payment already works in chemists where patients present their Carte Vitale and their health insurance card and no money changes hands.

A recent study showed the 17.4% of students had avoided going to the doctor for a health problem in the past six months because they could not afford to pay and then reclaim the money.

Revealing her “national health strategy” for the coming years, she also announced plans to create more than 300 multi-disciplinary health centres in areas with poor health cover.

The centres will be staffed by medical staff who are encouraged to move to such “medical deserts” by the guarantee of revenues of at least €3,600 a month.

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