Overhaul of French health insurance approved

2nd August 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 20 (AFP) - The two houses of the French parliament gave their final approval Friday to a government plan to overhaul the country's heavily indebted health insurance system.

PARIS, July 20 (AFP) - The two houses of the French parliament gave their final approval Friday to a government plan to overhaul the country's heavily indebted health insurance system.

On the last day before the summer recess, the National Assembly and the Senate voted through the bill's second reading on a show of hands. It will become law when promulgated in the official gazette.

The text includes a raft of cost-cutting measures to check the health care system's spiralling deficit, which is expected to hit EUR 12.9 billion (USD 16 billion) this year.

The plan asks patients to pay one euro per medical consultation, encourages the use of generic drugs and cracks down on sick leave abuse.

It calls for the use of computerised records as a way to trace a patient's medical history and pinpoint possible abuses such as over-prescription of drugs.

When he presented the plan in May, French Health Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said the center-right government hoped the initiative would generate EUR 15 billion to 16 billion in annual savings.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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