The Comparison of Medical Care Systems in France and the USA

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 2
Words: 561
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

When exploring the health care systems of foreign countries and comparing them to the one implemented in the United States, it is reasonable to refer to renowned ones that have proven effective. One such country is France, where health care is universally accessible and based on universal insurance. Health care in France is provided to citizens under the government’s regulation using governmental funds. Any person can obtain it accessibly and, in most cases, free of charge healthcare. The government covers the costs of doctors’ services through a reimbursement system.

Solo practice and occasional partnerships between practitioners constitute a similar feature between the two countries’ health care systems., namely the USA and France (Fremgen, 2019). The French health care system is based on compulsory insurance, the price of which is calculated in percentage of wages (Dutton, n. d.). It is different in the USA, where private and public insurance companies constitute a large market, and the price of insurance is in “flat dollar premiums” (Dutton, n. d.).

The high rate of health care accessibility and the lack of patients’ burden of payment for services make this system more ethical since this system strives to provide equal care to all citizens. In the USA, the insurance system is more complicated, medical costs and insurance prices are higher for citizens, and access is diminished due to a high rate of uninsured citizens.

It is worth mentioning that in France, the government is much more involved in health care affairs than in the USA. The government monitors and adjusts medication, care, and insurance costs and regulates workplace conditions for physicians (Dutton, n. d.). The law through which the authorities oversee the health care system is the Public Health Code. As a result, physicians in France have much more prescription freedom and work independently through individual practice. Nonetheless, they are salaried and employed as public-sector medical workers (Dutton, n. d.). Another critical issue in the French law is a provision that allows non-residents who have lived in France for three months to obtain health care on the country’s territory. Overall, the legislative regulations reinforce doctors’ professional freedom of decision-making and practice advancement.

The medical laws in France support the professional obligations of physicians by regulating ethical and practice-based issues. In particular, French health care is one of the most successful and effective globally, with the highest life expectancy rate and lowest mortality rate. These characteristics demonstrate that France is significantly concerned with the quality of life, life expectancy, and end-of-life medical support. Euthanasia is illegal in France, indicating that the local health care system has high ethical standards for life’s worth.

When judging from a leader’s perspective in the medical community, I think that free medical care is ethically essential for a country’s population’s well-being. I would advocate for free health care as a primary human right based on the need for equal access and equal opportunity for vital issues. Indeed, the worth of life of any person, regardless of their social status or income, is similar, so all people should have an equal opportunity to obtain qualitative and accessible medical help when needed. It might be challenging to implement from an economic point of view. However, as the example of France shows, the principle of universal insurance with wage percentage-based fees and discounts for the underprivileged might allow for making health care free of charge.


Dutton, P. V. (n. d.). Health care in France and The United States: Learning from each other. The Brookings Institution. Web.

Fremgen, B. F. (2019). Medical law and ethics (6th ed.). Pearson.