Wednesday, December 30, 2009

HPST Law continues to create controversy

The Loi Hopital, Patient, Sante et Territoire (HPST) continues to confuse and agitate many stakeholders in the French health system. Le Quotidien du Medecin, a newsletter for physicians, on December 14 featured a brief interview with a representative of the unions of hospital practitioners (INPH), Dr. Rachel Bocher. Dr. Bocher expressed consternation at the inability of hospital workers to get a hearing with the Minister of Health, Roselyne Bachelot and for any further clarification on the role of the new hospital administrators who are seen to have a much more powerful position as the law is implemented. She was especially concerned over how professional development and continuing medical education (CME) will be handled.

The various physician groups represented by INPH and others, including general physicians, are concerned about the management of contracts and the control of continuing education. The HPST law has a very large number of detailed changes included in its text and the application of those sections is in the process of clarification. The change from “Continuing Professional Training” (formation médicale continue) combined with professional practice evaluation (evaluation des pratiques professionelles) to “Continuing Professional Development” (développement professionel continu) is seen to be more than just a change of terminology. There is concern that this will centralize control over physicians and create more of a “state” system of management (etatisation).

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