MAPS. General practitioner, ophthalmologist, gynecologist, pediatrician: the worrying map of the French medical deserts

the essential
UFC Que Choisir unveils France’s map of the health gap for four medical specialties: general medicine, ophthalmology, gynecology and pediatrics. More than 15 million French people have difficulty accessing a general practitioner.

Medical deserts only in the countryside? It’s a clichĂ© to forget. The medical fracture has also been affecting urban areas for several years and the situation has been worsening over the years. This is what emerges from the France map of the UFC Que Choisir health gap. The consumer association publishes, on Tuesday 8 November, the 2022 card after two first editions in 2016 and 2012. Four medical specialties are selected: general medicine, ophthalmology, gynecologist and pediatrics.

General practitioners

Taking into account general practitioners who exercise less than 30 minutes by car from the patient’s residence, 2.6% of French people live in a medical desert, or 1.7 million people. Taking into account the areas of difficult access (areas with accessibility between 30% and 60% below the national average), it is actually almost a quarter of the population (23.5% of the population 15.3 million people in metropolitan France) who finds it difficult to consult a general practitioner.

Click on the map of France to enlarge it.

General practitioner health gap map.
infog. UFC What to choose

Ophthalmologists

Today, 19% of the French live in a medical desert. 12.3 million people have difficulty having their eyesight checked. Including areas that are difficult to access, 24.9 million French people have access to an ophthalmologist well below the average, or 38.3% of the population.

Click on the map of France to enlarge it.

Map of the health gap of ophthalmologists.

Map of the health gap of ophthalmologists.
infog. UFC What to choose

Pediatricians

It is the medical specialty that is in the worst situation. 27.5% of children aged 0-10 live in a medical desert in France! If we take the second criterion of difficult-to-access areas, the figure rises to 52.4% of children and their parents!

Click on the map of France to enlarge it.

Pediatricians health gap map.

Pediatricians health gap map.
infog. UFC What to choose

gynecologists

The situation of gynecologists, and consequently of their patients, is certainly no longer encouraging. 23.6% of patients over the age of 15 live in a medical desert in 2022. 41.6% of them even live in a municipality with access difficulties.

Click on the map of France to enlarge it.

Medical fracture map of gynecologists.

Medical fracture map of gynecologists.
infog. UFC What to choose

Is your municipality in a medical wasteland? Click here to access the UFC Que Choisir interactive map.

The maddening situation of exceeding commissions

The study also takes into account overruns as this is an important criterion for a good number of users. 29% of the French questioned give up treatment if the rates are exceeded. Taking into account this criterion alone, 46.8% of children live in a pediatric medical desert, 66.8% of women in a gynecological medical desert and 62.8% of the population in an ophthalmological medical desert.

What the UFC requires What to choose

Beyond its map of the social divide, UFC Que Choisir suggests three proposals to public authorities to improve the situation:

  • Establish a territorial agreement for doctors so that they can no longer settle in areas in excess of supply with the exception of sector 1 (social security tariff) when the situation requires it
  • Close access to sector 2 (free). New doctors could only choose between sector 1 (social security tariff) and the controlled tariff practice option (OPTAM) which regulates the overrun of taxes
  • Eliminate public aid for doctors who do not respect the Social Security tariff, excluding OPTAM
The UFC Que Choisir study is based on Localized Potential Accessibility (APL), which measures the number of physicians accessible per potential patient and per municipality within a surrounding area. The data was calculated by SKEMA Business School. The study takes into account only doctors practicing in private practice, due to a lack of available data.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *