Health systems in transition – France

The French population has a good level of health, with the second highest life expectancy in the world for women. The French state has a strong role in the health insurance system, which offers a high level of choice of providers.

While the French population is largely satisfied with the health system, the overall state of health in France is mixed, as described within this review. Health inequalities across socioeconomic and geographical groups are much larger in France than in most other European countries, resulting not only from risk factors but also from financial and geographical inequities in access to care. The rising cost of health care remains a challenge for the health system, with public financing of health care expenditure among the highest in Europe. While the latest health reforms aim to address these challenges, long-term care reform efforts have thus far failed to identify a sustainable financing mechanism to meet this large and growing need.

To read about the health system in France, on the website