Their strike comes at a time when rising cases of flu, COVID-19 and bronchitis threaten to overwhelm hospital emergency rooms.
Among other things, the family doctors demand that the French government authorize them to increase the consultation fee from 25 euros to 50 euros. This would make their profession more attractive in the cities, where the number of doctors is constantly decreasing.
Over the last years, President Emmanuel Macron has sought to favor the installation of family doctors in rural areas to avoid the so-called "medical deserts." This policy, however, is saturating the consultations in large cities with patients.
Doctors are also protesting against a bill that would allow nurses to write certain prescriptions, which is a policy aimed at preventing the collapse of the public health system.
The ongoing 7-day strike was called by the Union of Doctors in Free Practice, (SML), the Federation of Doctors of France (FMF), and the French Union for a Free Medicine (UFMLS).
The doctors' strike comes amid rising inflation that has mobilized other workers to protest. Last week, the workers of the national railway company SNCF were also on strike, which ended temporarily thanks to an agreement reached on Friday.