An epidemic of rabbits.
Tired of having to deal with an increasing number of unhonored medical appointments, the white coats raised their voices this Friday.
In a joint press release, the Academy of Medicine and the National Council of the Order of Physicians expressed their "
deep concern at the serious consequences raised by medical appointments not honored
real public health problem
”, reflecting a “
regrettable societal evolution
”, annoy professionals.
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Each year, 27 million medical appointments are not honored, underline the institutions, which cite several surveys.
A far from negligible proportion, since it represents between 6% and 10% of appointments made each week.
corresponds to a loss of consultation time of almost 2 hours per week for the doctor, whatever the discipline
", adds the press release.
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However, while the country is experiencing an unprecedented situation of medical desertification, these missed appointments are far from trivial.
The two organizations insist on the "
" that this type of incivility is likely to generate: "
Appointments not honored reduce the medical availability of practitioners, limit access to care for patients who really need it and contribute to increasing the number of patients who go to the emergency services
The problem raised by the Academy of Medicine and the College of Physicians is unfortunately not new.
Doctors have been sounding the alarm for several years, but appointments not honored continue to increase.
As the press release points out, some patients no longer hesitate to “
duplicate appointments with several practitioners, according to their convenience”.
With the popularization of Doctolib-type platforms, the practice is now child's play.
The possibility of making an appointment in one click has been able to uninhibit the least scrupulous patients"
, confirms Jérôme Marty, general practitioner and president of the French Union for Free Medicine (UFML).
Most of them are young professionals, comfortable with digital tools, who juggle without problem between several practitioners and cancel as they please
To the point that some doctors are now coming to regret the traditional appointment booking by telephone...
Admittedly, there is a whole arsenal of features on Doctolib to prevent incivility: automatic reminder notifications sent by SMS, removal of the cancellation option when approaching the consultation, blocking of “
” patients by practitioners, etc. "
But that's not enough
," judge Jérôme Marty, for whom only financial coercion will make it possible to overcome the phenomenon.
We must impose a sanction, even a few euros
", asserts the president of the UMFL.
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More cautious, the Academy of Medicine and the Order of Physicians encourage the public authorities to "
amend the bills on access to care under discussion, in order to make patients responsible for appointments not honored
Because sanctioning patients is actually less easy than it seems: who would be responsible for collecting the costs of non-representation?
health insurance ?
And how to prove that the patient did not honor his appointment?
Undoubtedly chilled by these implementation difficulties, the government would instead lean towards a vast information campaign - the other avenue put forward by the press release - to raise awareness and empower the public on the subject.