The French hospital on the verge of implosion?

16 April 2024 / Interviews

A committee of experts responsible for monitoring the finances of Social Security is sounding the alarm over the explosion in the deficit of public hospitals in France. According to this committee, the government must act quickly to address the root causes of this financial crisis, which also threatens to send health spending out of control in 2024.

In a recently published opinion, the alert committee on the evolution of health insurance expenditure underlines that health insurance expenditure for the year 2024 has been set at 254,7 billion euros, an increase of 3,2% excluding Covid-19. However, this budgetary allocation, lower than the “natural” increase in expenditure estimated at 4,6%, requires savings of around 3,5 billion euros.

Unfortunately, the measures planned to achieve these savings, such as the doubling of medical deductibles and flat-rate doctor co-payments, risk producing only partial savings due to their late implementation. In addition, the committee highlights the uncertainties surrounding other planned measures, including expected efficiency savings at the public hospital, which aggravates the risk of health spending overruns.

The growing deficit in public hospitals is a major concern, experts warn, stressing that it could almost double compared to 2022, despite the increase in allocations. They also criticize the delays in grant payments, which complicate the financial management of health establishments.

In addition, the committee notes persistent underactivity in public establishments compared to the private sector, calling for an in-depth analysis of the reasons for this situation.

In conclusion, the committee calls for urgent corrective measures from the government, emphasizing that financial support cannot be the only solution. Coordinated and targeted action is needed to address the root causes of the financial crisis that threatens the French health system.