France's Healthcare System

France is one of Europe's leading healthcare communities. It has pioneered a system of socialized medicine which enables nearly all of its residents to receive basic care at affordable prices. However, there are some disappointments to this system, especially when it comes to more personalized care with elective surgeries and even private hospital rooms.

France is known for being one of Europe's best healthcare communities, however, it is not known for being one of the most frugal. In fact, over 11% of the gross domestic product of the country is spent on insuring and helping its residents find healthcare. Some would consider this to be a noble cause, while others would question as to why so much of the nation's money is being spent to help others with their health.

Depending upon where you seek treatment in France you may be paying for coverage through your government healthcare or you may be treated in a private healthcare situation. The beds in France are distributed between public hospitals, non-profit hospitals and for-profit companies - and health care jobs are regarded very highly in social status. Each of these individual entities are trying to make money to pay for their basic costs as well as make a small profit. Most of the cost of long term hospitalization is paid for in France, as well as for chronic disease. However, for other situations only half the cost or less may be covered with the rest required to be paid through private insurance or out of pocket.

The taxes that are levied in order to pay for the providing of care to the public are quite high. As much as 12.8 of gross earnings are taken from an employee before they can even be paid. While it used to be 6.8% of earned income, the rate has now been dropped down to 0.75% of earned income. The heaviest taxes are on the rich, and not just the rich who have income. Rich people with assets are still taxed at a high enough rate to bring in more money to the national healthcare system.

French medical care is deemed to be some of the best possible anywhere in the world. While it is true that you can get excellent care in France, it will come at a price. Individuals who are not French nationals will pay extremely high rates, and those who are French nationals are taxed extremely heavily. That being said, France still has one of the longest life expectancies in Europe, with 81 years of age.