Why the hospital remains a big absentee from the presidential campaign

After eighteen months of health crisis and while the hospital cracks on all sides, one could expect that health would emerge as a major campaign theme. It is not, and caregivers are the first to regret it. “In the speeches of the candidates for the presidency of the Republic, there is currently no word for health”, got annoyed Karine Lacombe, infectious disease specialist and head of department at Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris, “Frightened”, November 9, at the microphone of France Inter.

Reduction in the number of beds, operating theaters in slow motion, emergency services forced to close at night … The ills of the public hospital have once again exploded in broad daylight since the fall, between the shortage of nurses, the lack of doctors , or even absenteeism and recruitment difficulties. Not even to mention the epidemic resumption, which will, even though the vaccine plays an important shock absorber role, further put pressure on the establishments.

At the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP), 18% of the beds were closed for lack of staff when the summer returned, reported The world in its pages from October 12. It took the publication of the shock figure of « 20 % » closed beds across the country, from an opinion of the scientific council, so that speeches emerge a little on the political stage, without the issue being on the agenda.

The proportion did not fail to be contested immediately by the Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, who spoke of 5% of closed beds in medicine, before triggering the opening of an investigation on the subject, announced by government spokesperson Gabriel Attal on October 27. And for good reason: this proportion of 20% is far from resting on solid foundations, as the scientific council recognizes when questioned, evoking feedback from some department heads contacted by its members and the AP-HP.

“A crisis within a crisis”

But this battle of numbers is felt as a denial of the situation among caregivers. Is it really essential? 6% of beds closed according to the French Hospital Federation, 1% to 12% in the regions according to the directors of CHUs, 14% to 18% in Ile-de-France, etc. “We are encountering more difficulties than ever in this return to school, that’s for sure, slice Patrick Goldstein, head of the SAMU du Nord and head of emergencies at the Lille University Hospital. The hospital is experiencing a crisis within a crisis. “

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Opposite, what are the presidential candidates saying? Socialist side, Anne Hidalgo wants “Completely blow up this idea of ​​the numerus clausus”, either the maximum number of students authorized to pursue health studies – officially already abolished under the five-year term, replaced by a numerus apertus fixed at the university level -, and engage in a “Massive recruitment plan”. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for La France insoumise, emphasized “Concrete solutions” like a “Moratorium on bed closures”, he calls for, and salary increases.

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Why the hospital remains a big absentee from the presidential campaign