People aged 45 to 50 in France will soon be able to get a free health check, as part of a new prevention campaign being rolled out from this autumn.
The campaign, from healthcare authority Assurance maladie, is available for anyone who is legally entitled to state healthcare in France.
It offers health checks for three key age groups: 20-25, 45-50, and 60-65. The checks will be known as 'rendez-vous de prévention', because they will be tailored to each age group and aim to prevent common health conditions from occurring or worsening.
Checks begin from October 1 and into 2024
Checks for the first group will start to become available from October 1 this year, France’s Health Minister François Braun - who was replaced in the recent government reshuffle - told the Assemblée Nationale on July 18.
He said: “We are starting preventative appointments from October 1, beginning with the first age group of 45-50, which will be those most affected, and towards whom we are going to offer complete health plans.”
The other age groups will begin health checks from 2024. They are considered to be of lesser priority, because those aged 20-25 are younger and typically healthier, and many of those aged 60-65 are already entitled to several free health checks for other conditions.
What will the new checks include?
The new checks have been brought in by the 2023 loi de financement de la Sécurité sociale (PLFSS), and were an election pledge of French President Emmanuel Macron. They will be tailored to each age group.
They are likely to include:
For those aged 20-25: Vaccination record check, physical activity assessment, help with any current or potential addictions, or difficulties linked to beginning their careers
Ages 45-50: Breast and prostate cancer check reminders, physical activity checks, or help with any mental health issues
Ages 60-65: Prevention of a loss of autonomy, cancer checks, and any other age-related illnesses that can be helped or prevented
How can I get one of the new checks?
The Assurance maladie will contact you if you are eligible for a check and let you know how to book.
The authority is aiming to be proactive and target those considered to be most vulnerable. It will offer priority booking slots for those who need them most or may otherwise not visit a doctor or healthcare professional.
You may be asked if you would be happy to fill in a form or take part in a short interview prior to the appointment, carried out by a doctor, pharmacist, nurse or midwife.
The questionnaire will cover subjects such as diet, physical activity, any addictions, your mental health, and your personal environment, so doctors can help you most effectively during the appointment time.