Working paper Open Access
While the new French "Immigration Plan" has just been revealed on November 6th, I would like to focus on the changes made to "l'Aide médicale d'Etat" (AME). Sometimes presented as the incarnation of French laxity with regard to illegal immigration, sometimes presented as the gateway to "medical tourism", AME cover the health expenses of undocumented migrants living in France.
The myth of "medical tourism of the migrant", (phenomenon totally marginal according to Médecins du Monde), is a powerful lever of contemporary identity discourses. In reality only 3% of undocumented migrants cite health as a reason for migration and 85% of the patients supported by the association and eligible for the device are unaware of its existence. Beyond individual care, the AME is a real public health tool, one of the sentinels of the national health system that protects the entire society and contrary to the common discourse, the AME could well represent an economy on the total budget dedicated to healthcare. Let's take a pragmatical look…