Laurence Cohen Senator PCF
The 2022 Social Security Finance Bill (PLFSS 2022), which is due to be adopted soon, is far from meeting the needs of the public hospital, whose crisis is only getting worse. This is what Laurence Cohen (PCF) denounced in the Senate, who then went to the hospital staff mobilized. However, short and long term solutions exist.
At the beginning of the week, you went to Mayenne to meet the caregivers. What have you noticed about the state of the public hospital?
Laurence Cohen This territory, the third medical desert in France, illustrates what is happening for the entire French health system. The two public hospitals in this department are in great difficulty. In that of the city of Mayenne, the regional health agency (ARS) wants to suppress the activity of conventional surgery and continues to remove monitoring beds, which in turn endangers the cardiology service and the maternity ward. The ARS wishes to transfer conventional surgery to Laval hospital, without knowing if it can absorb this excess activity. Obviously not, since, since the beginning of November, the emergencies had to close their doors for several nights. And when they are open, the reception and care conditions are terrible. These last two weekends, the staff had to take care of the emergency room when they had no bed available… Caroline Brémaud, the head of the emergency room, told me that “The first essential drug is humans”, but this contact no longer exists. This is due to the lack of personnel but also to the extremely administrative management of the hospital. They are disgusting professionals.
Olivier Véran assures us that the PLFSS 2022 will be “That of the way out of the crisis”. Can the government’s text improve the situation?
Laurence Cohen Not only will it not improve it, but it will deteriorate it further. At no time in the PLFSS do we foresee a reopening of beds, a change in the mode of governance, an attempt to improve working conditions … The compass remains the same: to save money in health and hospital . It is extremely important to report on the situation of hospitals and the mobilization of personnel because this debate must be at the heart of the presidential election. The people I have met don’t talk to me about safety, they talk to me about purchasing power and health. In particular, there is a need for new funding for Social Security, which both Olivier Véran and the senatorial right have refused. We must put an end to the many exemptions from employer contributions that exist and make use of financial income. Applying the law on equal pay between women and men would also increase contributions, which would therefore bring in several billion euros in revenue for Social Security.
Would these resources be enough to quickly open beds? The executive retorts that for that it takes more staff and therefore time to train them …
Laurence Cohen On the one hand, when you’re in government, you have to have a long-term view. It is therefore now that we must put resources for these training, which it does not provide. Means so that the numerus clausus in the faculty of medicine is really abolished, but also so that internal training can be done without delay. A nursing assistant from Laval explained to me that the hospital center, due to a lack of budget, refused her training as a nurse, however provided for in her contract … Also in the short term, we must completely review the organization of the hospital, improve working conditions and make it more attractive. Before the pandemic and even more since, a lot of staff left hospitals. But many would come back quickly if we changed the logic, by stopping savings and fee-for-service, changing the mode of governance, and finding humanity in these professions. But the government does not want it and continues to view our health care system as a cost that must be reduced.