France's national union of independent radiologists (Fédération nationale de médecins radiologues, FNMR) has questioned the legitimacy of a new commission for large items of medical imaging equipment, announced in the authorities' Official Gazette, and calls for major changes in governmental policy.
In a statement released on 5 September, FNMR noted the commission, ordered by the national medical insurance fund for salaried workers (Caisse Nationale d'Assurance Maladie, CNAMTS) under article 99 of the 2017 Social Security Budget Law, places imaging representation in the minority.
The commission comprises 16 members, including three independent imaging specialists, one hospital radiologist, and one nuclear medicine doctor. Half of its members are from France's national union of health insurers (Union nationale des caisses d'assurance maladie UNCAM). Besides the eight UNCAM representatives put forward by the director of the CNAMTS, the commission also includes one representative for public health institutions, and two from private health institutions.
While the new commission can provide an opinion on imaging organization and on tariffs for technical acts, and transmit this opinion to its stakeholders, ultimate power remains in the hands of the CNAMTS director, the FNMR noted.
"Where there is no agreement, the director general of UNCAM will determine tariffs," stated the radiology union, directly citing article 99. These technical tariffs allow centers to invest in cross-sectional imaging equipment, the union said.
The FNMR believes the creation of the commission shows the government is intent on pursuing the previous cabinet's policy of constraining doctors, rather than re-establishing a dialogue with them. The new administration should take a radically different approach to imaging, breaking with the repetitive cycle of reducing tariffs, the statement concluded.