OPINION – French Presidential Election 2017: 5 Key Topics for Access to Healthcare

Public health does not usually play a big role in the French political debates. But this year might be different. Our French member LE CISS tells us why in an opinion letter, ahead of the general elections in France.


No one can deny our health system needs a change. The current situation makes the re-thinking of our healthcare system a necessity and could put this issue higher than usual on the agenda of the French presidential election (April 23 and May 7).

The French platform of patients’ and users’ organizations (Le CISS) has decided to avoid the debate around the privatisation of the healthcare funding system – which a vast majority of French citizens rejects – and to raise awareness on 5 fundamental issues that will in our opinion configure the access to quality care for the next few years:

  1. The issue of “Medical deserts” and the need for a better geographical distribution of healthcare professionals – especially physicians – throughout the country.
  2. The part of health care costs that patients have to pay out-of-pocket and the gaps in the French reimbursement system.
  3. The appropriateness of care and the need to avoid unnecessary treatments, facilitating a better allocation of resources, and a better coverage of poorly reimbursed care.
  4. The pricing of innovative medicines, and how public resources dedicated to health shall fund and promote actual therapeutic innovation.
  5. Public health promotion: improving prevention and health education in order to reach the populations at the “outskirts” of the health system, to contribute to the reduction of health inequalities and to avoid the stigmatisation of behaviours considered as harmful.

For each of these topics the CISS has produced a fact sheet depicting the situation analysis, the CISS proposals and putting questions to the candidates running for France presidency.

These fact sheets will be sent to each candidate, and widely distributed in our networks as well as to a greater audience, starting on January 31, when the name of the official candidates will be made public. We will publish the candidates’ answers in March ­– every Wednesday will be dedicated to a different question – to inform voters on the candidates’ plans with respect to the 5 priorities we identified.

From the end of January, this whole initiative called “Objectif Présidentielles 2017 ” will be online on our website www.66millionsdimpatients.org, and we will encourage users to support our awareness campaign and relay our questions to the candidates – with the hashtag #PaieTaPolitiqueSanté – so that the candidates’ health projects can become a key element for voters.

Marc Morel, LE CISS Director.


Contact person:

Marc Paris, Communications Officer, mparis@leciss.org

Marc Morel

Marc Morel

Marc Morel is the Executive Director of the Inter-Association Collective on Health (CISS) since 2006.

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