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France to offer free medical check-ups at age 25, 45 and 65

The appointments will be tailored to each life stage and are part of the new ‘prevention era’, the health minister has said

A photo of a doctor testing a young patient’s blood pressure

The health checks will be tailored to the demands of each stage of life Pic: PaeGAG / Shutterstock

[Article updated September 19 at 15:45 with further details on the contents of each consultation.]

Free medical check-ups are to be offered to people in France at the ages of 25, 45, and 65, the health minister has announced.

François Braun said that these ages had been chosen as “three key ages of life”, in an interview with le Journal du Dimanche.

He said: “We are entering the era of prevention. We will look after children better, as they will benefit from 20 check-ups until age 16, but also follow these generations throughout their lives”

The measure will be part of the social security finance bill, (le projet de loi de financement de la Sécurité sociale, PLFSS) for 2023, which is set to be presented to ministers at the end of September.

The measure is intended to help “better follow” the health conditions and general state of health of people throughout their lives.

  • At age 25, the main aim would be to “check vaccinations, physical activity, any addictions, or any difficulties at the start of their professional life”. These people will also be reminded of the need to have their own GP.
  • At age 45, the doctor would focus on cancer testing - especially in relation to the breast, colon or prostate - and mental health.
  • At age 65, the consultation would focus more on questions to do with “the loss of autonomy”, Mr Braun said. These people will also be tested for different cancers and conditions which can be prevented, and their retirement plans will be discussed.

It comes after the minister said, during a visit to Marseille earlier this month: “This five-year [presidential] term will be one of vast reform of our health and prevention policy.”

The health minister did not say how these check-ups will be arranged, but it is likely that people will receive a letter from Assurance maladie inviting them to book an appointment when they hit the relevant age. 

The start date of the new scheme has not yet been announced. 

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