As part of its latest reform package, the current government aims to introduce electronic medical records for patients.
The objective is to improve the co-ordination and quality of care and to better use health care resources.
But the implementation seems to be more challenging than expected.
In 2002 the government decided that Continuing Medical Education (CME) will be compulsory for all physicians.
The reform has been implemented progressively since then. Compulsory Continuing Medical Education (CCME)
includes different types of programs which aim to maintain and improve doctors' medical knowledge.
Doctors are asked to participate in a number of educational programs/activities to obtain a specific certificate
every five years.
The 2004 Health Insurance Reform modified the principles of care coordination in France by introducing
in January 2005 a system of non compulsory coordinated care pathways for patients. It had three main features:
introduction of a primary care doctor (preferred doctor scheme), initiation of capitation in ambulatory physician
payment and reduction in patient's freedom of choice through financial incentives.
Health insurance vouchers have been introduced since January 2005 in order to encourage the use of supplementary
health insurance among low-income individuals not eligible for CMU (complete free health insurance for the poorest).
The voucher is a grant based on a few household characteristics (income, age, etc.) which reduces the cost
of a supplementary insurance contract. After a year of implementation, outcomes appear to be rather modest.
As part of the new programme to reduce hospital acquired infections, the Ministry of Health decided to benchmark
hospitals. A first ranking of hospitals by their capacity to fight against hospital infections was published in February 2006.
The indicator used does not take into account infection rates, but a number of dimensions which are deemed important
for reducing infections. All hospitals will have to provide publicly available information on the selected benchmark indicators
Bourgueil Y., Chevreul K.
In order to improve the access to health care and reduce existing geographical variations in the distribution of health professionals a national demographic plan was introduced in January 2006. The plan develops incentives for doctors
to practice in medically deprived areas, proposes measures for improving doctors' working conditions and increasing
the number of practicing doctors.