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“Health is not free”: the government defends its “rabbit tax” targeting patients

This is an announcement that has shaken the medical sector since this weekend.

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“Health is not free”: the government defends its “rabbit tax” targeting patients

This is an announcement that has shaken the medical sector since this weekend. The Prime Minister, Gabriel Attal, announced the implementation by 2025 of a “rabbit tax”, of five euros payable by the patient, for all medical appointments not honored. A statement that leaves some professionals doubtful. “It doesn’t mean anything, it’s a tax that we collect,” Patrick Pelloux, president of the association of emergency doctors in France, said this Monday morning on RMC. “It can’t work, the purpose of all this is the Social Security box and, there, we have everything to lose,” he lambasted.

For its part, the government assured that the implementation of this “rabbit tax” was “technically […] entirely feasible”, according to Frédéric Valletoux, Minister Delegate for Health and Prevention. On Franceinfo, he explained “that patients who make an appointment will leave their bank details on the reservation platforms”. For professionals not on these platforms, “doctors will have the possibility of requesting bank details” by telephone. Their secretariats “may call patients to confirm appointments”. If they do not show up, “the doctors can always ask them for five euros at the next consultation”, underlined on RTL Catherine Vautrin, Minister of Labor, Health and Solidarity, without detailing the case where the patient does not return. never with the practitioner.

“The money will then be collected by the doctor” if the appointment is not guaranteed, added the minister. “It is also the doctor who is able to judge whether a person has an impediment at the last moment,” refusing to charge them the five euros penalty. It is “an amount that may seem high for some, insufficient for others, in any case, health is not free,” defended Catherine Vautrin. The objective is to “empower patients”, at a time “when many French people have difficulty accessing care”, insists the government.

For now, “the principle is established” and must still be clarified, conceded Frédéric Valletoux. “We are going to work on it with doctors’ unions, patient associations and platforms,” assured the delegate minister, “we are going to make sure things go well.”

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