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What is France's innovative digital solution to combat GP shortage?

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By Katie Mcvey  & Ryan Thompson
What is France's innovative digital solution to combat GP shortage?

A new digital solution has been designed to tackle the inadequate medical access in rural areas of France that have no GP coverage at all.

These areas, known as ‘medical deserts’, are no longer attracting young doctors due to the agricultural location and older doctors are beginning to retire leaving towns with up to 2,000 residents without a GP.

The small town of Thésée in Loir-et-Cher department has only one doctor to 750 locals, a shortage four times the national average. This has led to the creation of a virtual doctor which has been designed to give ‘immediate relief’ to these towns in need.

Local General Practitioner, Dr. Patrick Portron told Euronews: “It’s stressful because my schedule is not infinite… I see 30 to 35 patients a day, this is the maximum that I can do. I can’t see any more”

France recently passed a health laws that aims to improve the country’s healthcare system which includes improving ‘medical deserts’, this new technology seeks to improve this problem.

Euronews’ reporter Ryan Thompson described the medical machine as a cabin that functions just like a digital doctor’s offices and contains all of the medical equipment that is expected in a normal practice.

The patient has a consultation with a doctor digitally and takes their own examination which is fed directly to the GP who then provides the relevant diagnosis and prescription.

Dr. Franck Baudino, chief executive of developers H4D, said: “Thanks to the digital doctor and my invention, the doctor has the ability to see a patient face to face if they need to, but if not, they can do the same type of consultation from their main office.”

However, some people remain sceptical about the new digital approach and doubt that this will solve France’s healthcare issues.

Watch Good Morning Europe's video above to see Ryan Thompson's report.