In May 2023, the Court of Auditors published a new report on social fraud in France. This would amount to between six and eight billion euros per year. To combat this problem, the government is considering several measures. At the beginning of the month, the latter has already announced a first plan to fight against tax evasion. On May 29, 2023, Gabriel Attal ended up presenting to the Parisian this time a plan to fight against social fraud.
In his interview with Le Parisien, the Minister of Public Accounts said he wanted to merge the Vitale card and the identity card. This measure was considered after the results of the report of the Court of Auditors indicating that this cheating also concerns the Vitale card.
Gabriel Attal mentions the deactivation of 2.3 million “surplus” Vitale cards each year. The latter would also be used for illegal medical tourism. Indeed, according to the minister, “people coming to France and using someone else’s Vitale card for care” is a fairly common scam.
The amount of health insurance card fraud would be several million euros each year. “And it is enough to exchange with health professionals to see that we must act”, affirms Gabriel Attal. The most obvious solution would therefore be to bring together an identity card and Carte Vitale. According to the report “the evolutions of the Vitale card”, carried out by the General Inspectorate of Finance and the General Inspectorate of Social Affairs, this would be the best method to fight against these frauds. But what form would this new card take? Is its release date already set?
Before the new plan to merge the Vitale card and the identity card, a biometric Vitale card was envisaged to fight against social fraud. Indeed, last August, the Senate released an envelope of 20 million euros for the implementation of this device. The objective was then to add a fingerprint to the card to make it easier to identify the identity of the person treated.
Nevertheless, the biometric model of this summer already seems far behind. Indeed, Gabriel Attal said that “a recent report recommends dismissing it. It would be very expensive, 250 million euros per year”. Moreover, doctors would not be in favor of taking fingerprints of their patients. “And when you are sick, how do you send a loved one to pick up your medication if you have to give your fingerprints at the pharmacy?” he asks. On the contrary, the doctors would be in agreement with the new proposal of the government. How is it considered?
“I want to move gradually towards a merger of the Vitale card and the identity card in a single secure card”, said Gabriel Attal in his interview with Parisian. The minister cites in particular the example of Belgium, Portugal and even Sweden, which have already set up this system. “It is both a measure of simplification and an additional guarantee on the identity of the person and the associated rights”, he adds then.
For the moment, no date has been determined for its publication. “I am launching a prefiguration mission to determine the timetable and the modalities. Obviously, this project cannot be considered until the production times for the cards have returned to normal! We need an ambitious and credible timetable”, said concluded Gabriel Attal.
However, not everyone is in favor of this system. Indeed, questioned by BFMTV, an executive from the Ministry of the Interior affirmed that this measure “is clearly technically impossible to implement and for which the CNIL is deeply opposed”. The latter would violate the protection of data and individual freedoms. For some, the biometric Vitale card remains the easiest solution to set up.