I HAVE just read your article about plans for GPs to charge variable fees depending on “the difficulty of reaching a diagnosis” (ConnexionFrance.com, Dec 2).
What will happen, if these extra costs are not reimbursed by the Assurance Maladie or insurers, is that people will rely more and more on supplements and websites in order to solve their problems.
This already happens in the US (where people often have no insurance at all) on a big scale.
Under the plans, I would be penalised. I often go to a doctor with several complaints (many of them end up being related anyway) and I don’t see the problem as usually they have a set time for an appointment, so you should be able to talk about anything you need as long as you do not exceed the time.
That, at least, is how it works with my doctor. I have 30 minutes, so within that time it does not matter how many complaints I have. On many occasions, we talk so fast that I end up forgetting things (although I take a list of things I want to talk about) or else the doctor says something I do not really hear because I am thinking about the next comment.
I prefer relaxed doctor appointments, where a few minutes more or less are not a problem.
I have noticed here in France that they do their best to keep you in the system. Once you go to a doctor, there are so many tests to be done, followup appointments, even for simple complaints. It is as if they think that if they keep searching they will find something and in the meanwhile they will be earning big money.
It is funny that they are planning to increase GP costs at a time when they talk so much about prevention.
If the changes come into force, people will wait a lot longer before they go to visit a doctor.