Remote consultation is not yet the remedy for “medical deserts”. According to a study published Thursday, December 8 by the statistics department of the health and social ministries (DREES), patients who “teleconsult” of general practitioners are on average more urban and younger than the people seen in their offices.
Remote consultation is not yet the remedy for “medical deserts” campaigns.
“In Ile-de-France, 7.8% of the activity of liberal general practitioners corresponds to remote consultations in 2021 (12% in Paris and 7.2% in the suburbs of the urban center of Paris), against 2 .2% in rural areas excluding overseas territories”specifies the DREES.
Sharp increase in the practice since the pandemic
Teleconsultations are also more often carried out for young patients, regardless of the territory of residence: in 2021, 45.2% were with people aged 15 to 44, compared to 28.7% of office consultations.
Another lesson: teleconsultations do not seem to aim primarily to abolish distances, since for 58.6% of them the doctor practices in the municipality of residence of the patient or less than 5 kilometers away.
Unsurprisingly, the study generally confirms the sharp increase in teleconsultations under the effect of the Covid-19 crisis. Liberal GPs carried out 13.5 million in 2020, then 9.4 million in 2021, when there were only 80,000 in 2019. The practice takes hold over time, but remains infrequent : it represented 3.7% of liberal general medicine activity in 2021. Less than home visits.