Nancy-Metz controversy about the Metz-Thionville Regional Hospital

Is the Nancy medical school blocking the “universitarization” of the RHC, as the elected representatives of Metropolitan France claim? A written question to the Minister of Health, a motion from the Metropolitan Council and an email to the elected officials, to understand the issues.

The Senator for Moselle, Jean-Louis Masson, has reopened the debate on the “universityization” of the Metz-Thionville Regional Hospital Center by submitting a written question to the Minister of Health on April 4, 2022.
The senator explains that: “30 of the 32 regional hospital centers (RHCs) in France have gradually been transformed into university hospital centers (UHCs), which have the equipment and personnel resources to provide highly specialized care. The two remaining RHCs, those of Orleans and Metz-Thionville, were considered, for nearly a decade, as having to benefit in turn from the status of university hospital centers… However, the process of transformation into a university hospital center has been initiated for Orleans, but not for Metz-Thionville.”
Hence a feeling of injustice for all the inhabitants of northern Lorraine since, for lack of the necessary equipment, serious cases are transferred to Nancy or Strasbourg.

A hospital-university agreement with Nancy

The matter is not new. For years, Moselle’s elected officials have been pleading for the RHC in northern Lorraine to be “universityized” through cooperation within the University of Lorraine, which covers both the north and the south, the cities of Metz and Nancy, somewhat along the lines of what is done between the cities of Nîmes and Montpellier. Several letters and petitions were sent to the health authorities. To no avail.
On February 28, 2022, the Metropolitan Council of Metz, chaired by François Grosdidier, “expressed the wish to implement the ‘universitization’ of the Metz-Thionville Regional Hospital in order to fight against medical desertification.

“Respecting commitments

The president (and rapporteur) François Grosdidier recalls that since 1971, Metz has been campaigning for the “academicization” of its hospital, which in 1976 obtained the label of Regional Hospital Center (RHC) by merging with that of Thionville (…) “The file of “academicization” has experienced a decisive advance on November 19, 2019, he says. Indeed, based on the model opted for in Nimes-Montpellier, a hospital-university agreement was signed with the University of Lorraine. This was to result in the creation of university hospital positions (HU) of various grades at the CHR. Unfortunately, since that date, the implementation of these commitments has remained a dead letter. A series of multi-party meetings have been cancelled and postponed indefinitely (…) The elected representatives of the Eurometropolis cannot tolerate this inertia any longer and wish, through this vow, to show their unity and their determination to see the terms of the agreement adopted and transcribed into reality.

Why does it get stuck?

Senator Masson, in his written question to the Minister, specifies that, following a collective letter from the elected representatives of Metz, “contacts have been made with the ‘higher education’ advisor in the Minister’s office. It seems that, unlike the other faculties of medicine, the Dean of Nancy has not requested the university hospital posts and territorial posts that are essential to enable the Metz-Thionville Regional Hospital to develop qualitatively.
A “deliberate omission” writes the senator who asks if “it is acceptable that a dean of a faculty located in a city blocks the upgrading of hospital equipment in another city serving more than half of the inhabitants of Lorraine?

No HU posts for the CHR of Metz-Thionville

This was confirmed in an e-mail from Dr Khalifé Khalife, 1st deputy mayor of Metz and vice-president of the Moselle Departmental Council, to his colleagues: “François Grosdidier, mayor of Metz, and I had a long discussion with Mr. Sébastien Delescluse, the Minister of Health’s “higher education” advisor, about the “universityization” of the Metz-Thionville Regional Hospital. Unfortunately and to our great surprise, we learned that the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Nancy did not ask, contrary to his colleagues in France, for HU positions for the CHR, in particular territorial positions on which we were counting. This omission, added to Nancy’s inertia towards the PASSLASS, confirms if need be the unwillingness of this faculty and its leader… Once the election period is over, we will continue with your support and that of the ARS this work to give back to the Moselle the indispensable tool to improve the medical offer on the northern Lorraine territory.”
The Nancy-Metz quarrel is reignited…

The CHR Metz-Thionville in figures

The CHR Metz-Thionville is a bi-site establishment 30 km apart, Metz and Thionville, comprising a total of 8 establishments. Mercy Hospital (Metz), Bel-Air Hospital (Thionville), Mother and Child Hospital, Hayange Hospital (Hayange), Félix Maréchal Hospital (Metz) and two retirement homes in Metz (Saint-Jean and Le Parc).
With nearly 2085 beds and more than 5500 employees, the Metz-Thionville Regional Hospital is recognized as the most important hospital in its health territory (600,000 people) covering a complete range of activities. It is also a referral facility that best meets the needs of the population: mother-child unit, psychiatry and child psychiatry, medical specialties, surgery, emergency service, burns service, palliative care, geriatrics.

Nancy University Hospital

  • 1,577 beds and 184 places
  • 9,740 professionals
  • Medical staff (excluding students): 1,490 (FTE) including approximately 430 interns per semester (FTE)
  • 813 M€ annual budget
  • 36 M€ invested in 2018
  • 5,923 professionals trained in CHRU schools and training institutes

The University of Lorraine

  • 13,355 health students, including 2,007 in PACES
  • 3 faculties involved: medicine, pharmacy and dentistry
  • 10 research laboratories within the Biology, Medicine, Health (BMS) scientific cluster and more than 180 teacher-researchers working there
  • 1 Virtual Hospital of Lorraine in Nancy – HVL Located in the heart of the Brabois Health Campus, on a surface area of 3,000 m², the HVL has 6 simulation platforms, making it a learning structure dedicated to the initial and continuing education of public and private health professionals; a place of innovation and research; a place where the recommendation of the Haute Autorité de Santé (French National Authority for Health) is applied: “Never the first time on the patient”
  • 1 Pierre Janet Center in Metz – CPJ. The CPJ is a department of the University of Lorraine, unique in France, dedicated to developments and innovations in the field of psychotherapy. It is composed of 3 Poles working in synergy: Research, Training and Consultation. Since 2016, 237 students have trained at CPJ taking advantage of the 10 training courses in the program. With its 5 consultation offices and 23 psychotherapists, the CPJ Consultation Pole has taken care of 3,200 patients since its opening in May 2017.
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