Alexandre Chauveau // Photo credit: GARO / Phanie / Phanie via AFP 09:05, December 05, 2023

State Medical Aid continues to be talked about as aid. This aid, intended for foreigners in an irregular situation in France, is considered too generous by the right. But a report submitted to the Minister of Health considers that the AME is "generally under control" but that it "deserves to be adapted".

The debate on State Medical Aid (AME) continues in Parliament. Regularly singled out by the right, the aid that allows illegal foreigners to be able to seek medical care, was even suppressed for a time by the Senate, during the vote on the new immigration bill. A decision that the National Assembly did not want to follow, thus rejecting the text of the upper house.

And according to the report by Claude Evin, former Minister of Social Affairs under François Mitterrand, and Patrick Stefanini, former prefect, immigration specialist and State Councillor, the AME is "generally under control", but "deserves to be adapted", he believes.

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Increase in the number of beneficiaries

The document was given to Gérald Darmanin and Aurélien Rousseau, the Minister of Health. But the system is mainly affected by the increase in the number of beneficiaries, he warns. Since 2015, the number of people affected has increased by 47% since 2015, bringing the total to 466,000 beneficiaries in 2023.

"Everything suggests that this will continue in 2024," says the report, which nevertheless dismisses the idea of a reduction in the basket of care, desired by the senators. "The risk is that its legislative work will not be followed on the ground by practitioners, because all the doctors have told us that, faithful to the Hippocratic oath, when faced with a patient with pain, the doctor will treat this patient, regardless of the modalities of care," explains Patrick Stefanini.

Limit fraud

On the other hand, the two authors formulate a series of proposals to try to limit fraud: the limitation of "beneficiaries" to minor children only, for example, where a beneficiary can now pass them on to his or her spouse, or the obligation to present himself or herself physically to the primary health insurance fund. Optional today, this obligation could put an end to identity theft.

Finally, State Medical Aid can currently benefit an individual who is subject to deportation. The report calls for an end to this.