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Earlier this summer, France’s new socialist government announced a crackdown on the increasing number of self-employed doctors who charge fees well in excess of the standard rates refunded by the country’s social security system. The government is concerned that the explosion in fees charged by specialist practitioners is excluding many medium and lower income earners from being able to pay for consultations that are only partially reimbursed, often at less than a quarter of the fee demanded. Doctors’ representative bodies and the state social security office have been given until October 17th to thrash out an agreement, without which the government says it will introduce legislation this autumn to force the fees down. Vincent Manilève reports.
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