health “checkups” at key ages of life are long overdue


Don’t call them anymore ” appointment “ of prevention: at the Ministry of Health, we now defend the term “balance sheets”. By uming almost a year of delay in their implementation. To date, these free essments with health professionals – a campaign promise from candidate Emmanuel Macron – are only starting to be deployed on an experimental basis, in Hauts-de-France. And on the target of forty-year-olds, to begin with. Before the generalization, now promised, in January 2024.

Around fifteen essments took place during the first week of the experiment, at the beginning of November, indicates the Hauts-de-France regional health agency, which has around fifty volunteer health professionals.

A year ago, there were three prevention consultations at 20-25 years, at 40-45 years and then at 60-65 years, which François Braun, the former Minister of Health, had promised as part of the project of the Social Security financing law for 2023. All three covered by Health Insurance. “We are entering the era of prevention”he congratulated himself, on September 18, 2022, in The Sunday Journal. A few days before leaving the ministry, in July, the emergency physician mentioned the start of implementation for October. No follow-up.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Prevention, this other project of the Ministry of Health

His successor, Aurélien Rousseau, has chosen to defend in recent days, in Parliament, a revised version of this promise. “What was planned was not feasible, we had put too much pressure on the professionals”justifies the Minister of Health, evoking too heavy content to be carried by doctors, nurses, midwives, or even pharmacists, likely to carry out these essments. “I wanted to refocus the system. »

Mixed reactions on the ground

This “exchange time” thirty to forty-five minutes should be an opportunity to take stock of the ” life habits “ and the” environment “ of the patient, in order to “understand and act on what influences health”do it “benefit from screening actions” And “fight against the appearance of diseases” (diabetes, cancers, etc.).

The first appointment will be offered at age 18, which should make it possible, as caregivers requested, to intervene early enough in terms of addiction prevention, vaccination, or even mental health. Three other deadlines will follow, at 45-50 years, then at 60-65 years, and at 70-75 years, for four essments in total.

On the ground, reactions remain mixed. Particularly at MG France, the leading union of general practitioners. “The college of general medicine had made numerous proposals, everything was thrown in the trash, regrets Agnès Giannotti, its president. It makes no sense to act as if we were all interchangeable (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, etc.) we should have used everyone’s skills! »

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