Bell-Aldeghi, R., Jusot, F., & Tubeuf, S. (2021). Sustainability in the French Health System. In The Sustainability of Health Care Systems in Europe. Emerald Publishing Limited.




Purpose: This chapter describes the main features of the financing of health care expenditure in the French health care system.

Methodology/Approach: This chapter presents key reforms that have been implemented to make the health care system more sustainable in the main dimensions of care: ambulatory, hospital, pharmaceuticals and insurance coverage.

Findings: Overall, French public authorities have followed three paths to improve the sustainability of the health care system: reducing public expenses, generalising access to complementary health insurance and streamlining care toward the most disadvantaged individuals. Looking in the future, the sustainability of the French health care system will mainly rely on two areas of recommendations. The first area is to respect the national annual target for health insurance spending, with a focus on responsible prescriptions, optimised care pathways and increased use of primary and ambulatory care where possible. The second area is to increase efficiency on the short to medium terms. This includes an increased quality of the care toward patients with a disability or special needs, a clearer engagement of patients within their care pathways to increase treatment compliance, and more generally a search for coordinated care that is fair and appropriate.


France, Health insurance, Hospital, Primary care, Reform, Sustainability




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