The warning shot did not go unnoticed. “All of the 63 associations and their 1,300 general practitioners have achieved a total shutdown of their activity since 8 am this morning”, SOS Médecins reported on Monday, September 27 in a press release. Since the start of the day, the call centers were unreachable and the practitioners did not provide consultations or home visits.
The federation had decided at the beginning of September to call its members to such a day of action in order to obtain an increase in the price of home visits during the day. “At 57.60 euros, as had been put in place at a time of the health crisis” in nursing homes, against 35 euros currently. “For more than fifteen years, the resources allocated to home visits have been insufficient with regard to the needs of the French and the aging of the population”, continues SOS Médecins in its press release.
The organization is also very upset against the last agreement signed at the end of July by the unions of liberal doctors and Medicare, which extends the “Long visit” (70 euros) but only for the benefit of treating physicians who travel to their own patients.
The date of this strike was revealed at the last moment to prevent “The movement is nipped in the bud” through early requisitions. These were not long in coming: in Toulouse, La Rochelle, Dijon, Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, Bordeaux, Pau and Bayonne, among others, local associations “Were requisitioned to perform on-call treatment that night”.
“SOS Médecins will obey all requisitions”, assured the federation, adding however that “Complementary and local actions” are already planned in the coming days, in particular “The stop of daytime visits” in Nantes, Cherbourg, Toulon, Fréjus, La Rochelle, Mulhouse, Avignon and Bayonne.
The federation also warns that its national mobilization “Could be renewed or extended in the coming weeks”, depending on upcoming discussions with the Ministry of Health and Medicare. Created in 1966, SOS Médecins brings together 1,300 general practitioners, who make around 3 million home visits each year.
The Confederation of French Medical Unions (CSMF) called in a statement “The government to hear this cry of alarm and to solve this problem as quickly as possible”. “The movement of SOS only emphasizes the low rates of home visits”, considers the CSMF, judging « ridicule » the travel allowance for a home visit, limited to 10 euros during the day.
SOS Doctors “Makes it possible to better resolve the problem of medical demography in large cities and the difficulty of exercising the profession of general practitioner”, underlined the union, which has in its ranks many doctors practicing at SOS Médecins.
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