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Overwhelmed hospitals: caregivers called to “sacred union” before the holidays – France

“We are not on the verge of saturation, we are totally saturated”, alerted, this Friday, on BFMTV, the Parisian emergency physician Patrick Pelloux. “Unheard of” according to him, even at the height of the covid-19 crisis.

In addition to the high-level spread of the coronavirus, there was acute bronchiolitis in infants and particularly strong flu in the elderly.

This “triple winter epidemic” puts an already bloodless health system under extreme strain due to a structural lack of caregivers, despite the billions of euros poured in since 2020 as part of the Ségur de la santé to strengthen the attractiveness of the sector. .

Situation “even more complicated next week”

Referring to a “critical situation”, the director general of the regional health agency (ARS) Île-de-France, Amélie Verdier, launched “a solemn appeal to the liberals, to the private sector so that there is a mobilization of all to relieve the hospitals”.

A “kind of sacred union”, according to the formula of the Minister of Health, François Braun, who paid a night visit to the Paris Samu and then to the hospital emergencies of Saint-Denis. The former emergency doctor did not hide his concern, predicting an “even more complicated situation next week”, “an extremely difficult course to pass”.

Five hours in the parking lot

Calls to 15 which explode, passages to emergencies much higher than normal, patients having to stay long hours on stretchers while waiting for a hospital bed… Difficulties accumulate in most regions.

Exhausted or even exceeded, the nursing staff does not hide their exasperation, as in Sarreguemines (Moselle), where a large part of the emergency team has engaged in a “blocking” strike movement.

“We only see serious patients,” says Emmanuelle Seris, head of emergencies at this hospital center. “The situation is no longer tenable, it is dangerous for patients and caregivers,” adds this Grand Est delegate from the Amuf emergency workers’ union.

Firefighter in Strasbourg, Cédric Hatzenberger evokes the interminable wait for the sick in emergency vehicles before they can be admitted to the emergency room.

“Since the All Saints holidays, it’s been a real disaster,” sums up this FO trade unionist. “We can easily be two or three hours waiting in the emergency parking lot, and it has happened that it goes up to five hours”.

A “white plan”, on the scale of France?

Successor to François Braun at the head of the Samu-Urgences de France union, Marc Noizet describes “a system in a state of rupture”. And he calls on the State “to trigger an exceptional national response, of the “white plan” type”, on the scale of France. Such a device would impose drastic organizational measures, with in particular a postponement of leave.

In Île-de-France, the boss of the ARS dismisses such a plan for the moment, noting that “health establishments wanted caregivers to be able to take well-deserved leave”.

But it has made temporary arrangements to avoid further congestion in hospitals. Saturday mornings December 24 and 31 will be remunerated as “ambulatory care hotlines” (PDSA) to promote the taking of call duty in city medicine. Hundreds of health students will come to strengthen hospital services. In addition, solutions have been found for precarious or elderly patients who no longer require hospitalization, in order to free up beds, according to the ARS.

100,000 nurses

Beyond short-term decisions, long-term measures are expected. A collective of more than 5,000 doctors, caregivers and hospital workers demanded this week, among other things, a defined schedule and a maximum patient-to-nurse ratio. This would require hiring “about 100,000 nurses” over three years.

François Braun repeated on Thursday evening that he would review “from January” the supply of care, “territory by territory”, on the basis of the work of the National Council for Refoundation (CNR). With the promise to “take head on the health system to reform it”.

letelegramme Fr Trans

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