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Seven out of ten interns exceed the maximum working time at the hospital, according to the ministry


WORK – According to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Health, 70% of students in medical residency say they have worked “more than 48 hours” per week in recent months.

Work weeks of 51 hours, 58 hours or more… According to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Health and revealed by the Quotidien du Médecin, a clear majority of medical interns work more than the legal maximum set at 48 hours per week .

In a hospital deserted by their elders, the medical officers are very, even much too much in demand. The situation, denounced for a long time by the internal unions, is now confirmed by an OpinionWay study, carried out on behalf of the ministry between the end of July and the end of September 2021, and of which AFP obtained a copy on Thursday January 13.

Nearly 58 hours of work per week, according to Isni

Of the 2,348 students who responded to the consultation, 70% indicated that they had worked “more than 48 hours” per week in previous months. The legal maximum is often greatly exceeded, since 18% have carried out “between 48 and 51 hours” and 52% “more than 51 hours” weekly.

Worse, most interns do more than their mandatory eight half-days of service. Depending on the specialty, between 76% (emergencies) and 98% (surgery) return to practice, most often for two or three additional half-days per week.

These results confirm those of the Intersyndicale Nationale des Internes (Isni), which had already reported an average of 58 hours per week before the Covid-19 pandemic. The organization had called for a strike in June to demand “the hourly count” of working time, also the subject of litigation at the Council of State.

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Despite this study, the phenomenon seems to be clearly underestimated by hospitals: the 252 establishments surveyed at the same time report barely 18% to 37% of students (depending on the specialty) working beyond this compulsory duration, with only one to two days in excess in the vast majority of cases.

Same divergence on night and weekend call, more frequent according to future doctors than according to their employers. However, all of them largely agree on respecting safety rest (11 hours after each on-call or on-call duty).

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