Over-the-counter antibiotics part of changes to French health care system

French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has announced salary increases for a portion of the country’s health care workers as well as access to over-the-counter antibiotics for two common illnesses.  

Health care was the focus of French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne’s speech at Rouen University Hospital at the end of August, where she revealed two core changes. Here’s what you need to know.  


Health care workers will now see a 25% salary rise for nighttime shifts starting in January 2024. Those who take on Sundays and public holidays will see their current pay increased by a further 20%. Additionally, doctors in the private for-profit and non-profit sectors will also benefit from an already agreed 50% pay increase for on-call duties available to those in the public sector.  


Following sweeping changes to the responsibilities of pharmacists, which include managing prescription glasses renewals and the administering of standard vaccinations, Borne has announced that people suffering from two more common illnesses – tonsilitis and cystitis – can now head directly to their local pharmacy for help. The affected will now be able to by-pass a trip to the doctor’s office and instead receive rapid diagnostic testing at the pharmacy and purchase the relevant antibiotic treatments needed.  


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Photo source: Roberto Sorin, Unsplash