Hospitals: “Everyone is worried about the summer”, warns Martin Hirsch, director general of the AP-HP

Within the group which manages 38 hospitals in Île-de-France, 1,400 nurses are missing, he said on Monday morning on France Inter.

Despite the ebb of the Covid-19 epidemic in France, health professionals are worried about the months to come. The reason is the lack of staff. “It is a very severe situation. Everyone is worried about summer. The different waves of Covid-19 have not left those who work in the hospital unscathed. There’s a time when people crack a little“Alert this Monday, Martin Hirsch, director general of the Public Assistance-Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP) on France Inter.

Concretely, within the AP-HP, around 15% of the beds are currently closed (compared to 4 to 5% usually). In question, the lack of nursing staff with a need for 1400 people. “We have 1,000 fewer nurses than a year ago and we initially planned to create 400 new positions. Some have changed jobs, others have gone to the provinces or to the private sector.“, explains Martin Hirsch. In total, the largest hospital group in Europe, which manages 38 hospitals in Île-de-France, recorded 1,514 resignations in 2019, 1,289 in 2020 and 1,621 in 2021. Some services are more affected than others, in particular the neurovascular units that take care of stroke victims, face bed closures of around 20%. Added to this is a slight increase in sick leave within the AP-HP, with a rate varying between “8.5% and 9% whereas it usually stands at 8%“.

A shared concern

To remedy this situation, the director general of the AP-HP makes several proposals:A revaluation of wages according to the cost of living, the technicality of the profession exercised and the necessary skills, but also a revaluation of night work.” He did not hesitate to qualify the temporary workers as “mercenariespointing out that this is a real problem:many become temporary workers, it complicates the atmosphere and we have to adapt our organization“, he laments. Asked by an auditor about the possibility of reintegrating unvaccinated staff, Martin Hirsch pointed out that this would only represent 40 people.

Same concern for the summer on the side of Patrick Pelloux, president of the Association of hospital emergency physicians of France, describing the situation as “catastrophic” in the emergency services, adding that the summer “is going to be excruciating, unheard of“, especially in the seaside, tourist areas, where the staff will be lacking when the holidaymakers arrive. Similar observation for Frédéric Valletoux, president of the Federation of French hospitals (FHF): “Beds are closed in more than three-quarters of establishments, many blocks are idling and there are emergency service closures in all regions.”

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