Doctor shortage: France opens 300 telemedicine practices in train stations

Doctor shortage: France opens 300 telemedicine practices in train stations

In view of the shortage of rural doctors,… France

Telemedicine practices will be set up in around 300 train stations in underserved regions. Patients can receive medical advice there via video consultation. The railway operator SNCF said vaccinations and blood tests should also be possible.

Depending on local needs, other offers such as eye checks or sports examinations should also be possible. The telemedicine practices planned by 2028 are aimed not just at train commuters, but at the entire local population. According to SNCF, the partner for the project is the company Loxamed, which set up Covid test centers in converted construction site containers at several locations during the corona pandemic train stations had set up. The video consultations should be carried out by doctors who are based in France and ideally also in the region.

According to this model, boxes measuring around 15 square meters will initially be set up on the station forecourts. A qualified nurse looks after the patients, who are then advised by a doctor via video conference. Appointments should be possible both via the SNCF’s online offerings and via classic platforms such as Doctolib. The opening times depend on the number of travelers.

Deutsche Bahn’s Medibus supplies patients in Germany

In France, large parts of the country suffer from a shortage of doctors. This leads, among other things, to long waiting times for appointments with specialists. According to official information, patients wait an average of 52 days for an appointment with an ophthalmologist and 61 days with a dermatologist. The number of general practitioners fell by eleven percent from 2010 to 2022. In the next ten years, a quarter of them will reach retirement age. There are similar problems in Germany. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) therefore called for this the creation of additional medical study places.

Deutsche Bahn also started a project to provide medical care in rural regions in 2018. A country doctor’s bus, the so-called DB Medibusis now traveling in seven federal states as a rolling family doctor’s office, corona testing station or vaccination bus.

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