Medicine: a grant of 1000 euros per month for students who settle in Brive

To attract new doctors, the city is organizing a series of measures and in particular a scholarship for students.

It is a of the main problems of our country today”, recognized the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron on France Bleu Pays d’Auvergne on December 8. To support its care offer, the city of Brive-la-Gaillarde (Corrèze) approved on Wednesday, December 15, an action plan aimed at “improve medical attractiveness in the area”† Among the measures, the city council has notably committed: “supervising students taking a long-term health course”† From January 1, 2022, the municipality will award a commitment grant to students from the age of five on the condition that they settle and practice in Brives. The latter can commit for 3 years (6,000 euros per academic year) or 6 years (12,000 euros per academic year). A student who undertakes to settle liberally in six years will therefore receive 1000 euros per month until the end of his studies.

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The incentives don’t stop there. The city commits to creating mechanisms for “simplify and improve the living conditions of students during their internship”, through easier access to housing and mobility aids. By “encouraging tools” to the installation have also been validated by the city council. Among them: a 0% interest loan for doctors settling in the area. With a maximum amount of 50,000 euros, the loan is used to purchase properties, carry out work or purchase equipment. The city even wants to offer spaces “ready”, where young doctors find an experienced referral professional on site and support for secretarial tasks. Anyone who settles there may stay for a maximum of three years in the first year with exemption from costs. Finally, the city will provide up to 50% financial support to the health workers who will be equipped with a teleconsultation booth. The goal is to install four of them.

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Abroad devices with disappointing results

As in Brive, these incentive schemes are flourishing throughout France. This is the case for the Alpes-Maritimes department, which will offer a “Young Established Doctor” bonus in 2022. The doctor must practice in the territory for at least three years. General medicine students are also offered a scholarship at the start of their third year. To achieve this, they must commit to five years of practice in a deficit area of ​​the department. Changé (Pays de la Loire), offers free premises and installation assistance for a year. A scholarship has been created in Romilly-sur-Seine (Aube) to attract students. In exchange for 30,000 euros, future practitioners have to settle for at least five years. In the Yonne, financial support is provided to 3rd cycle students who commit to remain in the department for at least five years. The total support is 39,000 euros. Support is also provided for the initial installation.

In a memorandum published on Thursday 9 December, the DREES (the statistical service of social ministries) concluded from the experiences of foreign countries that financial incentives “are not enough to draw doctors to medical deserts”“The common experience of some countries or provinces that initiated policies based on financial incentives very early on is that they have not had the expected results”, the note reveals. And finally: “Policies aimed at improving territorial distribution can therefore not be based solely on the leverage of financial incentives, but must address all physicians’ practice conditions.”

11% of the French live in medical deserts

It is a crown, because it is about encouraging without hindering the installation freedom of GPs. In France, 7.4 million people live in a municipality where access to a general practitioner is limited, according to the observatory of the Mutualité française in May 2021. This is about 11% of the population. These areas are called “medical deserts”. The causes are well known: uncompensated retirements, an increasing demand for care while medical time decreases and the numerus clausus that limited the number of students admitted to the second year of medicine. Since the start of the school year in September 2020, the reform of access to health studies has introduced the numerus apertus. This system determines the number of students selected for the second year and is determined by each university in conjunction with the Regional Health Agency (ARS), to best meet the needs of the area.

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