France has a universal health care system called l’assurance maladie financed by the government through employee income/payroll taxes as well as general tax revenue. Coverage is managed through compulsory statutory health insurance (SHI) through employment (for employed persons), as a benefit (for the unemployed) or through qualification as a student or retired person.

After paying the doctor’s fee (or dentist’s fee, since dental care is covered), the government funds reimburse a portion of the cost. Normally this is 75-80%, but it can amount to as much as 100% (if the patient has a lengthy medical problem, like cancer). The unreimbursed amount is paid by the patient, but it can be reimbursed if the patient is paying premiums to a voluntary health insurance scheme, called assurance complémentaire, which are managed by non-profit, mutual insurers.

Only about 3.7% of hospital treatment costs are reimbursed through private insurance, but, as of 2000, much more of the cost of spectacles and prostheses (21.9%), drugs (18.6%) and dental care (35.9%), were reimbursed through private insurers. The majority of hospitals are publicly owned and managed, but the rest are split roughly evenly between non-profit and for-profit institutions.

With a population of 67 million, France is the second largest medical care market in Europe after Germany. France is one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world, worth over $35 billion, is responsible for 7.8% of global pharmaceutical exports, and is ranked as the third largest exporter in Europe. France also has the second largest medical device market in Europe and is ranked fifth in the world. The French medical device market is expected to reach $16.5 billion by 2019.

  • Population:

    66.9 million(2016, World Bank)

  • GDP:

    $2,465 billion(2016, World Bank, USD)

  • Healthcare Spending:

    $283 billion(2016, Brocair estimate, USD)

  • Healthcare Spending as % of GDP:

    11.5%(2014, World Bank)

  • Annual Healthcare Spending Per Capita:

    $4,230(2016, Brocair estimate, USD)