Coronavirus : France closed more than 4000 beds in 2018

While Covid-19 was settling permanently in China at the end of 2019, French healthcare personnel were mobilizing to save the public hospital. What a responsibility for politicians!

We all remember the strong mobilization of the French healthcare workers in 2019. We wrote it here under the title: “November 14, mobilization to save the public hospital. The Inter-Hospital and Inter-Urgency collectives, users, and many field collectives are calling on caregivers and patients to come and defend the Public Hospital during a march on November 14, 2019. »

They noted that “the successive savings demanded of public hospitals over the last 10 years have led to major difficulties in access to care, a deterioration in the quality and safety of care, and to the exhaustion of hospital staff. The lack of staff and equipment no longer allows us to carry out our missions under acceptable conditions. Patients and staff are fleeing the hospital. »

3036 establishments

In October 2019, the Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics Directorate (DREES) presented the French hospital landscape: “1,356 public hospitals, 681 private non-profit establishments and 999 private clinics. In total, the number of geographical sites listed continues to decrease (…) The reception capacities of these 3,036 health establishments are divided between full hospitalization (396,000 beds) and part-time hospitalization (77,000 places). Reflecting the development of partial hospitalization that has been underway for several years, the number of beds will continue to decline in 2018 (-1.0%), while the number of places will remain dynamic (+2.4%). »
In fact, the public hospital has lost 5.3% of its beds in six years, or 17,500 beds. In 2017 and 2018, 4,172 beds in full hospitalisation will have been eliminated.

A complaint against the policies

The anger of caregivers and patients crammed in the hallways for lack of beds to accommodate them is better understood.
On January 14, 2020, more than 1,000 department heads resigned from their administrative positions “to save the public hospital” as they wrote in a letter to then Health Minister Agnes Buzyn.
A few weeks and a fearsome coronavirus epidemic later, the disaster is fast approaching. Hospitals were saturated, medical staff were exhausted and the sick were no longer being cared for normally. Lack of beds, lack of protective masks, lack of breathing apparatus, lack of everything.
Except for the courage of the nurses, doctors, health workers who are applauded every evening at 8 p.m. from their windows.
It is in this anxiety-provoking context that three plaintiffs, representing a group of healthcare workers, accuse Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and former Health Minister Agnès Buzyn of not having taken the appropriate measures in time to contain the coronavirus epidemic.
The three plaintiffs, Philippe Naccache, Emmanuel Sarrazin and Ludovic Toro, all doctors, have brought the case before the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) on behalf of the newly created C19 collective. They believe that Edouard Philippe and Agnès Buzyn “were aware of the danger and had the means of action, which they nevertheless chose not to exercise”.
Agnès Buzyn’s words the day after her defeat at the Paris municipal elections will carry weight, since she declared: “I had warned that the elections could not take place”… ” I think I was the first to see what was happening in China… I alerted the Director General of Health”. She will also say that she informed the Prime Minister.
What a responsibility!