The salary increases of the “Ségur de la santé” have not extinguished the demands of caregivers. A few thousand people marched on Saturday, December 4, near the Ministry of Health, in Paris, to demand an end to bed closures in public hospitals and better working conditions for caregivers.
Throughout their – short – procession between the Invalides, Necker hospital and the ministry, the demonstrators used the slogan: “We want beds, posts, for the public hospital”. On Magali’s back (who did not wish to give her name), we could read a message written in white letters: “Hospital in vital emergency”. “Since this summer, we have had five closed beds, due to a lack of personnel”, described in World this intensive care nurse in a hospital in the Paris suburbs. In his department, which has ten resuscitation beds “Open”, there are five patients with Covid-19.
“We love our hospital, our job, but the years go by and it’s always the same thing, the waves of caregivers leaving, people who are not replaced …”, she said, describing the difficulties in finding accommodation in the Ile-de-France region with her salary.
Between 2,100 and 6,000 people
More numerous than usual – 6,000 according to a union source at Agence France-Presse, 2,100 according to the police headquarters – they had first come to ask “In an emergency the shutdown of all scheduled bed closures”, in order to send “A very clear message” for “Reassure hospital staff in the context of a new wave” of Covid, Yves Veyrier, secretary general of Force Ouvrière, told AFP.
The union, whose section of the Nord-Mayenne hospital is at the origin of this demonstration, had called on its members to mobilize. The CGT, SUD, several healthcare collectives (Inter-emergency collective, Inter-hospital collective, Health in danger) and some political parties (La France insoumise, Europe Ecologie-Les Verts) were also present, as were associations of users of small establishments such as Amilly (Loiret) or Longjumeau (Essonne).
Several elected officials, the tricolor scarf on the shoulder, were also present in the processions, in particular representatives of the department of Mayenne, which had a delegation of caregivers in the parade. “We are here to defend our hospital, said Florent Bercault, mayor of Laval, accompanied by several mayors and deputies from Mayenne. Our hospitals are in great difficulty, we lack medical resources, the Laval emergency room had to close several nights in recent months. We suffer from chronic underinvestment, strong announcements are needed to redress the hospital and the health system. “
The working conditions were also on everyone’s lips. “I see the hospital which has been deteriorating for twenty years, with increasingly precarious caregivers, denounces Sylvie Dubourdieu, biologist in a health establishment in Yvelines. There are unacceptable conditions, such as night work. ” A member of the Santé en danger collective, the hospital practitioner is demonstrating in the street for the first time.
“People are leaving, the Covid has only opened their eyes to caregivers, many no longer accept the unacceptable”, she says. Personally, she is also there to denounce the lack of any effort for the salaries of hospital practitioners like her, already in the hospital: “The Ségur of health [plan du gouvernement pour l’hôpital annoncé à l’été 2020] made people believe that we were going to increase our grids, while we, who have been filling the 30% of vacant positions for years, have lost four years of seniority compared to new practitioners … we really do nothing to make people want to stay in the hospital. “
Same feeling for Christophe Trivalle, geriatrician at Paul-Brousse hospital (AP-HP) and member of the Inter-hospital Collective. “We left as before at the hospital, we are told about our activity figures which are not sufficient, with this system of pricing per activity that continues, when we need resources, equipment, we do not they don’t have them… it’s a return to the “abnormal” “, he estimates.
“But the situation has worsened today, he continues. With even fewer healthcare workers, Covid or not Covid, the holiday season will be very difficult, bed closures are skyrocketing, all services are affected. ” At home, in geriatrics, the service is already overflowing: “We were forced this week to refuse and send home several patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, agitated, violent, with behavioral problems… but these are bombs which will explode at one point. “