Sustainable development goals are interlinked objectives aimed at improving lives to achieve a better and sustainable future for all.
Figure 1. SDG index rank, index Score and Spillover score
Figure 2. SGD Dashboard and Trends
Figure 3. Status of SDG target for France (% trend indicators)
These global goals emphasize connected social, economic and environmental aspects of economic development. In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) set up these global goals to act as indicators to measure the world’s development progress as it approaches its visionary year of 2030 (Filho, 2019).
Figure 2: Map of France
France is Europe’s most populous country since it has high birth rates and low mortality rates, and a third of its population is of foreign descent. The last census conducted by Institut National D’estudes Demographiques in 2021 estimated France to have a population of 67 million people (Samuel, 2023). France is a multi-racial country and is one of the major world’s economic powers. This country has a stable political and economic environment. Frances’s goal for good health and well-being targets its citizens from all walks of life. They are out to ensure they are reducing maternal mortality, fighting diseases, promoting mental health, access to family planning, granting access to sexual reproductive care education, preventing and treating substance abuse, supporting health research, development and access to vaccines when the need arises, reducing deaths from accidents and lastly achieving universal health coverage.
Good health and well-being are essential needs for human life. A healthy nation creates room for healthy workers; thus, fast innovation leads to development success (Lowe, 2010). The major challenge facing the attainment of this goal is the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the loss of lives and caused an immediate call for action; most medical researchers neglected research for other diseases and shifted all energy to COVID-19. Increased abuse of substances has made the implementation of the WHO framework convention on tobacco control unsuccessful. The use of family planning has led to a decrease in population growth, reducing the workforce number and forcing France to opt for foreign labour.
The healthcare systems in France perform relatively well. France’s main focus on good health and Well-being is preventative health care. Children and women in France get free screening and checkups from time to time to prevent diseases and provide cures at early stages. The government develop policies and ensure they are implemented to the advantage of the French nationals. Through taxation, French health care services have become affordable since most costs are covered by the government. France has prioritized women’s health; they get free cancer screening and free reproductive health checkups (Yonli, 2014). Life expectancy in France is among the highest in the world – 85.6 years for women and 79.7 years for men in 2019. This reflects good overall population health outcomes (Blanpain, 2020)
France has experienced a massive growth in their health care status over the last eight years. Their life expectancy continues to increase yearly. France has increased its healthcare spending to 11.5% in 2018; the government is focused on modernizing infrastructure and research equipment to ensure its citizens get the best care(Johnson, 2018). France performs well in well-being dimensions as compared to other nations in the better life index. About 65% of people aged between 15-64 have a paid job in France. Both Men and women are paid to work without discrimination. France offers quality and affordable education to its citizens at both tertiary and primary levels. There is a 91% voter turnout in France. This means that citizens actively participate in patriotic activities, and their opinions on French issues are valued: this is evident since many stakeholders are involved in public health policymaking in France. An average household net adjusted disposable income per capita is 34375 a year for families in France, and this offers great living standards for the French (OECD, 2013). The government is focused on ensuring the safety of its citizens is upheld, from environmental safety to lowering crime rates in France.
The number of tobacco smokers has also decreased since the health education programmes all over France act as a preventative measure: people are more aware of the dangers of tobacco smoking (West, 2017). Several health programmes continue to be launched and implemented in France: cancer care and support, home-based care, free screening, and community care, among many others (Chevreul, 2015). Access to universal health coverage has made health affordable to all French nationals at any level of treatment. This has lowered the cost that a patient has to part with in order to get health care services. There has been an established low emissions zone in Paris, which is the capital of France, since 2009. To date, France’s focus is on a complete ban on diesel and gasoline vehicles in 2030 and fully adopting the use of electric vehicles to save their environment from air pollution. To date, France’s health care is known for its quality, access and affordability. Overall, France has made significant progress in healthcare access, investments, infrastructure, and population health programs. But continuous efforts are still needed to fully tackle cost pressures, disparities, staff shortages and other systemic challenges (Kumar, 2014).
However, France’s health care has faced some challenges in recent years, but it still stands to fight through them.
The entire world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and everything came to a halt in the real world but not in the healthcare world. France, like any other country, was not prepared for the pandemic, but they later managed to contain it. Its first COVID-19 case was reported in January 2020. France had invested billions of euros in economic support programs during the pandemic to assist their medical practitioners (Demertzis, 2020). The lack of enough personnel in the medical practice led to fatigue and burnout of staff. Other doctors in France were forced to resign due to poor working conditions, as most of them contracted this virus when treating other patients. Lack of proper communication with the French citizens caused the virus to spread more from one individual to another; during these moments, people were ignorant about taking precautions to help minimize transmission of COVID-19. Inadequate preparedness caused loss of lives and a lack of trust in the French health care system. The government is trying to bring forth community education to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. It is also creating policies that will help France handle pandemic attacks in the future, helping minimize life loss and maintain the public’s trust in the French healthcare system. The government still urges its citizens to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and a booster shot to make France COVID-19-free (Del Rio et al.,.2022).
Abuse of substance
Due to increased drug abuse caused deaths in France, the government decided to intervene. Abuse of drugs in France is caused by an unhealthy lifestyle where most people incorporate drugs and less food in their bodies. In 2003, France created a social system security that finances drug treatment, and as years went by, they adopted prevention services as a better way of curbing this issue. Most people abuse drugs to escape the reality. France made community-based services for mental health to help reform the community and raise awareness among the public. The most abused substance in France is tobacco, as most people believe it makes people maintain the model figure without realizing the harm it does to their bodies (Berridge, 2013). France’s campaign against drugs began in 2004, and great differences have been seen in the number of smokers it had then and now. The French government has implemented various policies and programs to address substance abuse, including regulation of purchases, advertising, penalization of substance abuse and prevention campaigns. To achieve a drug-free France has been a challenge since the French have normalized the drinking culture in their environment (Demossier, 2010). Curbing substance abuse still remains a health priority in France.
Increased use of family planning
Family planning centres were officially created in 1972 in France and are state-supported (Gembries, 2018). The number of births in France has then reduced, making it hard for the population to grow. A high population equals a high labour force. France has few medical personnel, causing an unequal distribution of medics to other parts of France. Most patients from other parts of France feel left out, and others experience delayed services. The French government has then provided work visas for other practising medical personnel to help curb the inadequacy of medics in France and to offer healthcare to all (Ventelou, 2016).
Family planning can prevent pregnancy but not sexually transmitted diseases; people continue to forget to use barrier methods, causing them to contract other diseases. Overdependence on hormonal contraceptives can also have affected France’s fertility rate. Long-term use of hormonal contraceptives increases a woman’s risks of blood clots, stroke, breast and cervical cancers. It can also cause side effects that prevent women from going through their daily activities; headaches are common when someone is using hormonal contraceptives. Most women are affected, and doctors are advised to engage their patients in other treatment options. Overdependence on hormonal options in France needs to be balanced with a holistic approach involving multiple birth control methods. The French government continues to urge its citizens to procreate by offering healthy living environments to raise a family, offering paid paternity and maternity leaves, offering allowances for stay-at-home parents and lastly, offering family benefits where they offer tax breaks and universal per-child payments to families after the second child( Blum, 2002)
French health care system generally provides quality care to its nationals. Their policies have helped reduce social inequalities and reduced health concerns brought up by substance abuse. Well-being is one of the most critical aspects of human lives. People need to feel safe and stay healthy in order to go through their daily activities of innovation, assembling, manufacturing, production, and offering services. This causes the government to ensure they have the basic needs and create great policies for their people to thrive. Achieving good living standards depends on the quality of education, healthcare, housing, and security, which are the major areas given most attention by the French government. The health care system in France is affordable, all thanks to a system known as Protection Universelle Maladie (PUMA), which is a hybrid system which is partially state-funded through employer and employee taxes and partly funded by individuals.
France should focus on the nutrition of its people. It should ensure they have an organic balanced diet as this helps to reduce the looming number of obesity cases in France. They should be taught how to limit unhealthy meals and watch their weight. France should digitize health as a main move to elevate preventative health care and allow for universal health coverage to be used by everyone who cannot access a hospital. This is to bring consultations and delivery of drugs to the doorsteps of the patient. At a personal level, individuals should be taught to go easy on drugs. People taking drugs to escape their reality should be encouraged to ask for help and share their feelings. Drug addicts should be rehabilitated and given post-rehabilitation care to ensure they don’t take drugs again.
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