What Exactly Makes the French Healthcare System So Good?

As Americans look to Canada for a model of a better healthcare system, CNBC takes a moment to examine why France, which currently has one of the top ranked healthcare systems in the world, might be worth emulating.

France has a longer life expectancy, a lower infant mortality rate, and a higher doctor-to-resident ratio than the United States. The focus on preventative care in France means that after being treated, patients are less likely to need to return for follow-up care (which also mean France spends less on healthcare — about half what the US does). Unlike in the US, the French system actually allows citizens more choice when it comes to treatment, because they don’t have the issue of insurance companies restricting things like which doctors a patient can seek treatment from. “Sécurité Sociale” is funded by the government, but allows everyone in France access to affordable health care, whether you are a citizen, resident, or tourist.

Advertisement

So, in summation, everyone should move to France. (Kidding!) Or, at the very least, start proposing meaningful legislation that uses France’s nearly eight decades of a finely-tuned healthcare system as a reasonable model for a culture of government-funded social and physical wellbeing.