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Hospital Healthcare Europe
Hospital Healthcare Europe

European hospital healthcare update: Member State profiles

1 January, 2008  

Gérard Vincent
Chief Executive
French Hospital Federation

Yves-Jean Dupuis
Chief Executive French Federation of Not-for-Profit Private Hospitals

The implementation of Plan Hôpital 2007 has been officially achieved. Its three main goals were reform of public hospital governance, promotion of investment and reform of the healthcare finance system using diagnosis-related groups. Some €6bn has been invested in 1,664 building projects. Private–public partnerships have been used to finance 34 building projects valued at €1.4bn.

In February this year, the health ministry published a new reform programme, Plan Hôpital 2012, in a bid to build on the progress made by its predecessor. Its objectives are to achieve hospital compliance with safety standards, to develop information systems, to encourage hospital rebuilding and to improve working conditions. Implementation will begin at the end of this year, with first results expected in 2009–10.

One of the objectives of the reform of cancer services was to ensure equal access to high-quality treatments throughout France. Two policy documents published in March 2007 on the organisation of cancer wards are based on a technical agreement which comes into play if hospitals provide sufficient care of high-enough quality every year. The Regional Hospital Agencies will be responsible for delivering this five-year agreement. A total of 900 health institutions will now provide cancer treatment, where before there were only a few highly specialised providers. Health professionals, patient representatives and stakeholders will work together to ensure that patients are offered enough information to select a high-quality treatment of their choice that can be carried out in a safe environment close to home. Reform implementation began in spring this year; it will be completed between October 2009 and May 2011.

A personal medical file, a “dossier medical personnel” (DMP), is being piloted in France and has been since the end of last year. A DMP is an electronic file containing treatment and diagnostic information that can be accessed when the patient’s health card is used in conjunction with the doctor’s card or a personal code. These files will be stored in databases. The deadline for national rollout was originally mid-2007, but this has now been put back in order to improve the system’s security.

The national convention of the French Hospital Federation took place on 15 December 2006. Its purpose was to adopt new statutes aimed at: improving the smooth running of the national Federation; increasing the profile of the newly created regional Federations; ensuring an equitable and efficient representation of all members of the hospital community; and increasing the role of elected representatives and practitioners. Gérard Vincent was re-elected Chief Executive of the French Hospital Federation.

The annual national convention of the French Federation of Not-for-Profit Private Hospitals has launched a new strategic project, in response to:

  • A strong competing evolution concerning the medical and medicosocial sector, which is amplified by the new hospital financing methods, the modifications of the legal framework and the logic of contract and planning implemented by the Ministry of Health.
  • The evolution of care and services offered by the private not-for-profit sector.
  • A lack of visibility of the private not-for-profit sector with respect to the authorities and users, compared with the public and commercial sectors.
  • Difficulties in promoting the values of the Federation.
  • An associative movement facing difficulties whose redynamisation is essential for the future of the private not-for-profit sector.
  • Size diversities and members’ expectations.