The “agences régionales de santé” (ARS) are the keystone of the new health organization at the regional level promoted by the “Hopital, patients, santé et territoires” act (2009). The ARS integrate all public health services at the regional and departmental levels.
Their ambition is to improve the health of the population and increase the efficiency of the health system. The ARS have to make a commitment on three national priorities among which one is to promote equity in health. They have an instrument for programming: the regional project for health (PRS) contains a regional strategic plan (PSRS) which has to consider particular objectives addressing social and territorial inequalities of health. Strategic plans will be implemented through programs. One of these programs is the Regional Program for access to prevention and care for those most in need (PRAPS), which is required to be implemented by all ARS.
These programs, which already existed in the previous regional public health organization, promote, within each region, a comprehensive and coordinated approach to health problems for people in difficulty, to reduce inequality of access to care and prevention. Finally, to address inequalities in health, the ARS will need to develop cooperation with other State services but also with municipalities and communities at the local level. With these, the ARS can conclude local health contracts (cf. “ateliers santé ville”).
Original title: Objectifs des Agences Régionales de Santé
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