SMURs, services responsible for vital emergencies, affected in turn by closures

In the emergency department of the Robert-Boulin hospital in Libourne (Gironde), August 25, 2023.

Overheated emergencies, closed services, filtering at the entrance by calls to 15… Unsurprisingly, the crisis continues in the emergency services of many hospitals. If it is too early to draw up a summer report, a phenomenon comes from several departments: now, even SMURs are closing. These mobile emergency and resuscitation services – there are 388 according to the last official count, relating to the year 2020 – including a doctor, a nurse and an ambulance driver with a medical vehicle are sent by the SAMU to respond to the emergency. vital emergency.

In recent weeks, in Oise, Finistère, Manche, Gironde, Vaucluse, or even in Vendée, it has sometimes been necessary to do without one, two, or three SMUR teams at the same time, for lack of doctors. In Normandy, the worst could be avoided: instead of the four fewer services – out of six – scheduled for Saturday August 26 in the Eure, it was possible to close none ” that “ two, according to the regional health agency.

The Ministry of Health refuses to communicate on the extent of the phenomenon, assuring that “Supporting the territorial network of SMURs remains an absolute priority for the government”but the representatives of the emergency physicians are convinced: “We have never had so many alerts”relates Agnès Ricard-Hibon, spokesperson for the French Society of Emergency Medicine, who is concerned about “real risks of loss of opportunity, with longer delays to intervene”. “It’s new, nobody talks about it, while we are dealing with vital distress! »she chokes. “We are in the midst of a collapse”, adds Patrick Pelloux, of the Association of Emergency Physicians of France.

” Put to danger “

Difficult, for professionals, to hear the speech of Aurélien Rousseau, the Minister of Health, concerning a hospital which was under tension this summer but which ” is holding “. “There is an organization that makes it possible to take charge of the vital risks of all our fellow citizens”he assured on BFM TVMonday, August 21. “We must stop misinformation: there is a danger to the population, Curry Marc Noizet, head of the SAMU-Urgences de France union. When you see departments that sometimes have to operate with half their SMURs less, things can’t go well. »

In Vendée, it’s unheard of. And not only because of the emergency services which remained closed for several nights in very touristy places, such as Les Sables-d’Olonne. Up to three SMURs, out of the six that crisscross the territory, had to remain stationary on certain days this summer. “We are at an unprecedented level of medical shortage”recalls François Brau, co-responsible for emergencies-SAMU-SMUR of the departmental hospital center of Vendée, in La Roche-sur-Yon.

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