Macron to overhaul France’s struggling health care system

President Emmanuel Macron announced an overhaul of France’s struggling health system, including new funding methods for doctors and hospitals, more hiring and other organizational changes.

Macron’s speech came as many hospitals in France have reported major difficulties in recent weeks, with emergency units overwhelmed by patients with flu, COVID-19 and bronchiolitis infections. Family doctors also went on strike during the end-of-year holiday to call for an increase in their consultation fees — currently set to 25 euros ($26) — and better working conditions.

In a speech at a hospital in Evry, a southern suburb of Paris, Macron vowed to “respond to the concerns of many of our fellow citizens (who want) to get health care within a short time … and to the concerns, anxiety, tiredness of health care professionals.”Macron announced major changes in the way hospitals get funding so that they are not penalized anymore when they do complex, time-consuming activities. He also vowed to increase fees of doctors on condition they are involved in ensuring the continuity of health care in their area and accept new patients. Details of the changes are to be worked out in the coming months, he said.