Healthcare democracy: putting people at the heart of the system

The Kouchner law of March 4, 2002 on patients’ rights was an opportunity to put people back at the heart of the French healthcare system, with the emphasis on healthcare democracy.

What is healthcare democracy?

According to the regional health agencies (ARS) website:
“Democracy in healthcare is a process that involves all the players in the healthcare system in the development and implementation of healthcare policy, in a spirit of dialogue and consultation.

Democracy in healthcare means recognizing the rights of healthcare users and developing better healthcare policies and systems. Far from being a disembodied concept, healthcare democracy is put into practice through a variety of mechanisms and players:

  • The Conférences régionales de la santé et de l’autonomie (CRSA) and the Conseils territoriaux de santé (CTS ) are the main bodies for healthcare democracy in the regions. They are the ideal place for all players in the healthcare sector to discuss and express their views.
  • Associations are also key players in healthcare democracy. In particular, user associations will be able to express and defend collective rights.
  • Patients also contribute to the development of healthcare policies. Their experiences can provide invaluable information about care, the patient/carer relationship, treatments, drugs, costs and so on.

The aim of healthcare democracy is to involve all stakeholders in the development and implementation of healthcare policy, in a spirit of dialogue and consultation, with people and their experiences as key factors.

Actions taken within the framework of health democracy are beginning to bear fruit. A call for projects has been launched by the ARS and the CRSA in 2022. The 21 selected projects, covering a wide range of subjects, from the creation of a comic strip to better understand the care pathway, to the creation of standardized tools to better integrate cognitively impaired patients, will therefore be funded and launched throughout 2022-2023.

Digital technology as an enabler of patient participation

Democracy in healthcare is also a concept that refers to the active participation of patients in the management of their own health. This means taking into account patient experience and statistical data to inform and guide healthcare decisions.

Digital technology can provide a means of capturing this feedback. One example is e-Satis, a national system for continuously measuring patient satisfaction and experience.
Our Mint solution, an entertainment, information and communication platform, also provides a space dedicated to feedback via a patient satisfaction survey set up with the establishment.


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