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Eurohealth puts the French health system under the microscope

The latest issue of Eurohealth, a publication by LSE Health and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, is now available. The issue focuses on the French health system, examining the consequences of major reforms enacted in 2004 as well as featuring an interview with French minister of health, Xavier Bertrand.

Previously ranked by WHO as the best performer, the French health system is not without problems. It has traditionally operated with little regard to efficiency or cost containment. It has the highest rate of pharmaceutical use in the EU, while, until recently at least, there has been little attempt to incorporate cost effectiveness into policy making.

The health workforce is ageing; geographical inequalities in access to services exist. Moreover, promotion and prevention have not been high priorities. The 2004 reforms make use of economic incentives to influence the behaviour of health professionals and the public. But will the reforms lead to sustainable change? Will the French experience be of relevance elsewhere in Europe?

These issues and many more are examined in the latest issue of Eurohealth.

  • Interview with Xavier Bertrand, French minister of health
  • Pharmaceutical and human resource policies in France
  • Hospital reform: a new era of public/private competition?

For further information about the magazine see the Eurohealth webpage.  


For further information, contact Sherry Merkur, ext 6194, email: s.m.merkur@lse.ac.uk

For subscription enquiries, email: c.heidbrink@lse.ac.uk 


Exciting changes have been made to Eurohealth in recent months, the quarterly publication of LSE Health and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. The magazine provides a forum for researchers, experts and policy-makers to express their views on health policy issues and contribute to a constructive debate on health policy in Europe. Now in its 12th year, it is authored by leading experts, backed up by in-house support, and linked to a multi-faceted dissemination strategy.

Each issue of Eurohealth includes: Eurohealth Debates - deliberation on widely applicable issues by experts with opposing views Key Public Health issues - articles written by expert authors Health Policy Developments - reports on the latest developments in health care reforms from experts working in the field Evidence-based decision making for health care - articles that provide a synoptic account of the knowledge gained from published reviews and studies Monitor section - detailing new publications from European governments and public health institutes; reporting on relevant health-related web sites; and presenting news on EU and country-level developments.

9 February 2007