Doctors’ salaries, chloroquine … We have verified three statements made by Didier Raoult in the Senate

Didier Raoult, auditioned by the Senate, September 15. – Francois Mori / AP / SIPA

  • Didier Raoult came to explain his therapeutic strategy against the coronavirus on Wednesday in front of the senators.
  • The professor has multiplied the affirmations.
  • 20 Minutes checked three.

After the deputies, Didier Raoult, director of the IHU in Marseille, came to the Senate on Wednesday to defend his work on hydroxychloroquine for almost two hours to fight against the coronavirus. Asked about the effectiveness of this treatment or the organization of the health system, the professor of medicine has multiplied the affirmations. 20 Minutes check out three below.

  • What Didier Raoult said: “There are 4.6 billion people living in countries in which we [recommande] l’hydroxychloroquine. »

Is it right ? Didier Raoult explained that he was referring to a “paper” which should soon be published on the subject. Contacted, the IHU did not send to 20 Minutes the document. This argument is regularly used by the professor: he has, on at least two occasions, communicated lists of countries recommending the use of hydroxychloroquine.

In front of the senators, the director of the IHU did not specify the countries to which he was referring. Globally, WHO not recommended to treat patients with Covid-19 with hydroxychloroquine and does not recommend taking this treatment as self-medication. In the EU, the European Medicines Agency
do not recommend this treatment, as Senator Bernard Jomier pointed out against Didier Raoult.

In India, and its 1.3 billion inhabitants, the Indian Council of Medical Research recommended last June the intake of hydroxychloroquine among caregivers, in addition to the wearing of suitable protective equipment. Regarding the effectiveness of the treatment, the Director of the Council
was careful at the time, explaining that he wanted to wait for the results of a WHO trial before “forming an opinion”. This trial has since been abandoned. In the United States, neither the CDC (Center for Disease Control) nor the NIH (National Institutes of Health)
recommend this treatment.

The Chinese National Health Commission, not recommended the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to nearly 1.4 billion Chinese. It does not rule out the use of chloroquine, like other antiviral drugs, but recommends monitoring its effectiveness and side effects. In Brazil, the Ministry of Health
not recommended the use of treatment “in mild or severe cases”.

A vast majority of countries do not recommend this treatment for Covid-19, like thehighlighted on Twitter Nathan Peffeir-Samdja, infectious disease specialist at Inserm.

  • What Didier Raoult said: “We have the oldest doctors in Europe. “

Is it right ? Didier Raoult said he relied on data from the OECD.
According to these statistics, it is Italy which takes the record for the oldest doctors: more than half of Italian practitioners (53%) are over 55 years old. France comes in third place (47%), almost tied with Estonia and Latvia. In 2000, France stood out, on the contrary, by doctors younger than its neighbors.

  • What Didier Raoult said: “Hospital doctors [à l’exception des médecins universitaires] are paid less on average than other OECD countries ”

Is it right ? Here again, Didier Raoult relies on data from the OECD. However, the OECD does not classify this by country, but compares remuneration to the average salary in each country. A French salaried specialist doctor, a category that most closely matches the profile of a hospital doctor,
receives 2.2 times the average French salary, according to data from 2017, while a German doctor in this category receives 3.5 times the average German salary.

The comparison has its limits, underlines Gaëtan Lafortune, senior economist with the health division of the OECD. “Compensation is one of the areas where it is more difficult to have comparable data”, he detailed in 2018 at Doctor’s Daily. The variety of income of some doctors (salaried or liberal activity for example) complicates the exercise,
remember also a note from the Ministry of Health.

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