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Letter From France
August 19, 1998

Striking Against Managed CareThe Last Gasp of La Médicine Libérale?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY.


Edited by Annette Flanagin, RN, MA, Associate Senior Editor.

JAMA. 1998;280(7):659-664. doi:10.1001/jama.280.7.659

The French health care system combines a strong tradition of autonomous private practice with nearly universal health care coverage through the social security system. The French state's responses to rising health care expenditures have included limitation of the number of medical students, control over physician fees, rules to prohibit certain clinical practices, experiments with generalist physicians coordinating care and access to specialists, and collective physician responsibility for expenditures beyond the health care budget. The failure of physicians' protests, including a strike of French residents and fellows in 1997, may signify the end of traditional private practice in the face of France's statist version of managed care.