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[Series] Achieving universal health coverage in France: policy reforms and the challenge of inequalities

Since 1945, the provision of health care in France has been grounded in a social conception promoting universalism and equality. The French health-care system is based on compulsory social insurance funded by social contributions, co-administered by workers’ and employers’ organisations under State control and driven by highly redistributive financial transfers. This system is described frequently as the French model. In this paper, the first in The Lancet’s Series on France, we challenge conventional wisdom about health care in France.