It was a campaign promise of candidate Emmanuel Macron in 2022 and a measure that some doctors have been calling for for years. The Minister of Health, François Braun, announced in Sunday’s newspaper September 18, the launch of free consultations for people aged 25, 45 and 65 who should emphasize prevention in health.
For Agnès Giannotti, president of the General Practitioners of France (MGF) and contacted by 20 minutes, this measure is welcomed in the face of the “accumulated delay” in the issue of prevention in our country. “We find it important to have dedicated consultations,” he adds enthusiastically. “Our country is not good in terms of prevention”, but “we have decided to act”, recognized the minister in France between Monday morning.
A delay in prevention
François Braun insisted on this point in the JDD : “We are entering the era of prevention”. Today it is considered “insufficient” compared to what other countries are doing. “We arrived very late because we only reimbursed the treatment”, confirms Agnès Giannotti.
However, there is a real need to counter social inequalities in health and to encourage the most disadvantaged to go to the doctor for regular check-ups. Those furthest from care are the most affected by these inequalities. Will this be free enough? “It breaks a certain financial barrier, and that’s something,” replies the general practitioner. For her, we see this delay taken “in all of society”, not the increase in chronic diseases, obesity or diabetes.
This free measure should also encourage categories of people, in particular those aged 25 who do not have chronic problems and therefore go to the doctor less frequently, to consult and educate themselves about their health. It must be accompanied by a global public health prevention campaign. “It will be part of a whole”, expects Agnès Giannotti. According to the minister, “we are going to take better care of children, who benefit from 20 exams up to the age of 16, but also accompany these generations throughout their lives”. “We are going to have that logic of going to the people furthest from attention,” she added on France Inter.
Why choose these ages?
The ages chosen by the Minister are not insignificant. “These are crucial moments in the lives of adults, confirms Agnès Giannotti. At 25 years of age is the entry into adulthood, in working life prevention is also needed on the risks of violence, those linked to sexual infections, addictions of any kind, obesity or diabetes, and it is an age in which falls off. seriously ill while it is still important to go see your doctor.” It is also the era of vaccination reminders that are not always up to date. However, these ages remain “indicative”, the minister specified.
People aged 45 will be made aware of chronic diseases and will be encouraged to be screened for various cancers (breast, colon or prostate) because “if it is from the age of 50 that we are going to insist on screening , it is important to explain it to him before, ”said the general practitioner. Here you can also address questions about the workplace and the private sphere, and always the risks associated with sexual relations. “It doesn’t hurt to put on a cape for people changing partners or getting divorced,” he adds.
Finally, at age 65, the doctor will address issues related to retirement, change of living environment, and will begin prevention of loss of autonomy. “Reviewing every 20 years, that seems important to me”, adds Agnès Giannotti.
What specific implementation?
This measure should be applied from 2023, but it has not been the subject of consultation with the various doctors’ unions, protests Jean-Paul Hamon, general practitioner and honorary president of the Federation of French doctors, contacted by 20 minutes. “He decided everything alone in his corner without a representative union,” she laments.
And how to specifically set up these consultations when the country is affected by a “shortage of doctors”, he asks. If it is to make a consultation without means of action on what we want to prevent, it is not much use ”. Remember that almost 7.5 million French people have “limited access” to a general practitioner, according to figures from the Association of Mayors of France (AMF).
“There are a large number of people who will benefit from this consultation when they don’t need it,” agrees Jean-Paul Hamon. According to him, doctors need time, a long and complete consultation to give support, like overweight people. The doctor then advocates more for consultations dedicated to illness or complication, such as obesity or addiction. “That would make more sense,” he says. Prevention, we already do it every day with our patients, whether it is a vaccination reminder or a cancer screening. This shows that the minister does not know what the profession of a general practitioner is. The measure proposed by François Braun will be included in the next Social Security financing bill, presented to parliament.
#medical #prevention #people #aged