The President of France on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious health care reform with a four-year, 3.4 billion euro ($3.9bn) budget that will lay the groundwork for an upgraded system over the next half-century.
The measures proposed by Emmanuel Macron included: training more doctors, creating the figure of a medical assistant to relieve doctors from performing administrative tasks, increasing the number of doctors in rural areas and performing an in-depth overhaul of the French hospital network.
During the presentation at the Élysée Palace in Paris, Macron saidFrance boasted one of the best health care systems in the world but also warned it required restructuring in order to adapt it to future needs and improve its efficiency
The president also focused on the need for urgent measures to reduce the long waiting lists currently affecting French emergency wards.
Another of the problems described by Macron was the lack of doctors in some regions, which he said could be resolved by getting rid of caps in French Medical schools, thus increasing the number of future doctors.
"We have to train doctors well and in sufficient numbers," the French president said, adding that 25,000 students cannot access the faculties of medicine as they lack the required entry level notes.
Apart from increasing the number of doctors, Macron said they must also be able to focus on their medical activity, and announced the creation of 4,000 medical assistant posts tasked with administrative duties.
French doctors are currently involved in most aspects of medical paperwork which Macron calculated could account for 15 percent of their working hours.
Macron also announced the French government would fast-track, as from next year, the commissioning of 400 doctors in rural areas where the number of General Practitioners remain few and far between.
In the year 2000, a World Health Organization comparative report awarded France with the number one position, out of a list of 191 countries, for the quality of its health care system.