France saves 1bn euros on health insurance spending

At a time of deep austerityacross Europe, France has managed to spend one billion euros ($1.4 billion) less than expected on health insurance last year, the government said Tuesday.

"Not only will the national objective for health care insurance spending be respected, but we already know that we registered under-spending of more than one billion euros," Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told a parliamentary finance committee.

But state , which is partly funded out of payroll taxes, still ran a deficit of 7.7 billion euros last year. The government wants to get that under 6.2 billion euros this year.

Health spending in France, envied for its robust public health care system, is an unwieldy section of the budget, but has risen less than forecast in recent years.

In 2013, the spending increase had been set at 2.7 percent, to a total of 175.4 billion euros.

The savings came mainly on less spending on transport, massage and physical therapy, and daily allowances for the long-term ill.

French President Francois Hollande has urged the public health sector to help cut spending by reining in excessive drug prescriptions.

Cazeneuve also said Tuesday the government had cut its wage bill by 200 million euros in 2013. The figure is a target for big austerity cuts in France, which plans to cut 3,000 state jobs this year, mainly from "non-priority" ministries such as defence and finance.

Related Stories

Spain transplants hit record despite crisis

date Jan 13, 2014

Surgeons in Spain transplanted a record number of organs in 2013, the government said Monday, keeping the country world leader in the field despite heavy health spending cuts.

Spain to save 10 bln euros with health, education reform

date Apr 09, 2012

The Spanish government, which last month introduced a tough 2012 budget, said Monday it expects to save another 10 billion euros ($13 billion) by making public services like education and health care run more efficiently.

German drug maker Merck ups forecast for 2013

date Nov 14, 2013

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Merck KGaA said Thursday it is raising its full-year operating profit forecast thanks to improving sales and positive cost-cutting effects.

Recommended for you

'Beyond aid' in health care: Is it time for scrutiny?

date 6 hours ago

The UK government's investments in private hospital chains in developing countries, in the form of 'beyond aid' approaches, could actually be hindering inclusive development and need greater scrutiny, argue experts in The BM ...

Cutting health care costs isn't easy

date 7 hours ago

Convincing the nation's most vulnerable citizens to avoid costly emergency department visits is proving harder than expected. A new study from the University of Iowa found improving access to affordable primary ...

Marijuana users substitute alcohol at 21

date 8 hours ago

A recent study looked at marijuana and alcohol use in people between the ages of 18 and 24. It's probably not surprising that the results show a drastic increase in alcohol consumption in people just over ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.