Provision of doctors

Does anyone know if the commune has an obligation to ensure the local provision of medical services? There is a rumour that our only surviving doctor is going to retire in July and there is no one to replace him. Is it the commune’s responsibility or will we have to take our ailments to other areas?

Good question Ronald, welcome to SF
Many places are doing their level best to encourage MTs in to their communities but AFAIK, their is no obligation to provide these facilities - a real and developing problem in rural areas.

I’ll echo the welcome, Ron! My understanding is, certainly near here, that remote access to doctors is being pushed as an alternative. Personally, I value the hands-on approach of our GP and can’t see how video connections can possibly replace that but some areas are very short. When our local one retired, a lot of people joined the practice in the next town. Would that be a possibility for you?

Big problème in many areas, lots of villages can’t find anyone, my médecin has just retired without being able to find a replacement :frowning:

There is another Hotel de Sante within 15 minutes but I don’t see how it would cope. Ours serves not only our commune but a local small town.

You are lucky. We have to drive 10 minutes to our nearest doctor anyway, so to have an option only 15 minutes away doesn’t sound too bad to me.
Whilst it is frustrating for you and you say they won’t cope, the practicality is that they may have to and I would suggest you consider registering with them when the time comes.
Our experience was that when our (single) doctor’s practice closed in our local town and we moved to a group practice we got much better service. Not least, they cover for each other, so there is less pressure on an individual doctor. And they have successfully continued to recruit additional doctors, because I think new doctors coming into the area prefer to be part of a group.

There is an argument that single handed rural practice is neither safe for the doctor, or their patients and really should not have any place in a modern health service.

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No, it is not the commune’s responsibility to provide you with a GP. The second yours retires move quickly to find another one and everyone in their list will be doing the same. I

If you then exhausted every avenue looking for one then you can go to the mediator at Ameli. There is a form somewhere, which asks you to list who you have tried so keep notes. They may be able to find one for you, but if they can’t you should then not be penalised financially for making appointments outside the “parcours de soins’.

But provision of medical cover is a complex question. The Seçu has tight control over the price it will pay for each medical act, and at the same time many GPs are not salaried employees but professions libérale so they have to claim for each teeny, tiny medical act. And then cover a huge range of costs out of their earnings. This amount of admin and fiddliness is not attractive to a young doctor.

Some GP are salaried employees in health centres, but I think this is still a minority as commune budgets are stretched to build, equip, maintain and look after a health centre.

Also the training of doctors has been a bit of a mess, although new changes in 2020 will bring more into the system in a few years.

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Quite frankly, if you know he’s definitely retiring I would move now.


I have been trying for nearly 4 mths to get a GP to accept me, but computer says non . Looking again on Tuesday :crossed_fingers:

Have you tried the personal approach rather than via a computer? I know that isn’t easy either but sometimes a personal plea can work wonders…

I think I’m going to go to the Surgery and ask them outright if the rumour is correct, then I can work on a plan of action.

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Hi Angela

I have only used the personal approach. My French isn’t very good, although I do try. But taking a French speaking friend with me on Tuesday. So will see if that helps, and I have been advised that this surgery is taking new patients. Feeling a bit more confident.

I do hope so! Let us know and fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:

I just registered with Doctolib then booked an appointment at our local gp.

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I certainly had to have an appointmet with the doctor before she would agree to take me on. That was because of the language though as she was bothered that her English was not up to safe diagnoses if I didn’t speak adequate French…

Will do. thank you

If that doesn’t work then you can try this route…

Vous ne trouvez pas ou plus de médecin traitant
Votre médecin a le droit de refuser ce rôle. Vous pouvez alors changer de médecin et en choisir un autre.

Si vous ne parvenez pas à trouver de médecin traitant, vous pouvez vous rapprocher du médiateur de votre caisse primaire d’assurance maladie. Il vous apportera des conseils personnalisés, adaptés aux possibilités locales (1). Un questionnaire vous aidera à lui présenter votre cas.

(1) Parmi les ressources locales, des organisations coordonnées territoriales peuvent répondre à vos besoins de soins, notamment par le recours à la téléconsultation.

One of the doctors in our ‘cabinet’ retired over a year ago and they are unable to find a replacement. Seems to be a big problem especially in more rural areas.

we have a similar problem in 71130. Doctors are self employed, so need a sizeable commune to exist. Plus, no incentive for younger family men to move to central france. Same problem, with dentists. our commune down from 2000 to 700. From what i understand, recruiting, is going to be difficult. I dont belive communes have a lot of imput.