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France could extend 100% coverage of GP appointments to end of summer

The measure was brought in during the pandemic as téléconsultations soared in popularity

Online consultations became popular in France during the Covid-linked lockdowns Pic: Insta_photos / Shutterstock

The French government could extend the 100% coverage of online medical consultations (téléconsultations) beyond July 31, when the measure is currently set to end. 

All types of medical professionals in France can offer online consultations and patients can also be supported in the consultation by nurses, pharmacists, etc. These types of appointments grew in popularity over the series of Covid-linked lockdowns.

In France, 100% coverage means 100% of standard rates set out by the Assurance maladie. If you see a sector 2 GP (médecin conventionné secteur 2) who charges more than standard rates then you may still have to pay a certain amount – unless your top-up health insurance policy covers you.  

Read more: Health cabins: virtual GP visits becoming more popular in France

This 100% coverage has been extended several times already since it was first introduced. Usually, online consultations are covered up to 70% of the price, with the remainder covered by top-up health insurance policies (mutuelles). 

François Braun, President of Samu-Urgences de France, was recently tasked by President Emmanuel Macron to carry out a study into necessary health measures going forward, as services struggle to cope with staff shortages. 

He handed his report to the government yesterday (June 30), French magazine Capital reported, with one of his suggestions being to extend the 100% coverage of online consultations for the remainder of the summer. 

This could help to ease the pressure on GP (médecin traitant) services, keeping in-person appointments free for those with more urgent complaints. 

He has reportedly met with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne to discuss this proposal and 40 others. 

The head of French medical union grouping the Confédération des syndicats médicaux français (CSMF) has said he is pleased with the proposals set out in Mr Braun’s report. 

“Broadly speaking, the main points of our demands are there,” Franck Devulder told Capital. 

It is not yet known when the measure will be put forward by the government or if it will be approved by France’s hung parliament. 

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