1. A new online health space
All residents affiliated to France’s state healthcare system now have access to a new online health space containing a calendar of medical appointments, storage of medical documents and a messaging system.
This is the latest revamp of a digital medical records system after other opt-in systems did not have widespread take-up.
In this case, you will have to request not to take part, if you so wish.
2. Free contraceptive methods for under 25s
Full coverage of contraceptive costs was made available from January 1 for all women up to age 25.
Previously, this was only the case for minors. This covers one medical consultation per year, as well as the relevant pills, devices and tests.
3. Top-up insurance to be automatically renewed
Certain people will now automatically be attributed the complémentaire santé solidaire (CSS) – free or subsidised ‘top-up’ healthcare – as it was found that too few people were taking it up.
This will apply to those who have the RSA income support benefit.
Access will also be ‘facilitated’ for pensioners on the Aspa pension top-up, who will automatically be sent documents allowing them to sign up.
4. Quality improvements for school canteens
Healthier and more responsibly-produced food is promised in collective catering facilities such as school canteens.
At least half of products used now have to be from ‘sustainable’ agriculture or from brands with a ‘origin and quality’ label, including organic products.
5. Up to eight ‘free’ consultations a year with a psychologist
Consultations with a psychologist are now reimbursed for those in the health system (up to eight a year).
The patient needs to have been referred by their GP.
6. Orthoptists to perform eye tests
Orthoptists can now carry out eye tests for those with mild eyesight problems and prescribe glasses and contact lenses.
This is aimed at helping resolve the issue of difficult access to ophthalmologists in many areas of France.
7. Remote care to be generalised
Telesurveillance – where health professionals monitor a patient’s health at a distance using technology – is set to become more standardised this year.
Previously subject to various trials, it is now to be extended to all health conditions considered to benefit from it, and set rates for reimbursement will be fixed for professionals making use of it.
8. French hospitals to offer cheaper A&E services
Hospitals in France are to charge a fixed-rate sum of €19.61 from January 1 for patients who go to the accident and emergency ward (urgences) but are not then admitted to hospital.
The charge up to now was €25.28 for A&E treatment without hospitalisation, plus extra itemised fees for specific services received.