In maternity hospitals, anxiety increases during the summer period

Summer is never a simple time in maternity wards to juggle staff leave while maintaining activity, but this year the tension has risen a notch. Up to the Antoine-Béclère hospital, a large maternity hospital in the Ile-de-France region located in Clamart, in the Hauts-de-Seine, where we witness a tense situation. “We had to close 10 beds out of 80”, explains Alexandra Benachi, head of the maternity ward at the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP). “We reorganized ourselves differently to maintain activity this summer, she assures. But this can only be temporary. “ To take this into account, the person in charge is counting on various adjustments, such as the shortening of the length of stay after childbirth, for voluntary patients.

A few kilometers further south of the department, at the Antony clinic, there are more than ten beds in the service – those devoted to “pathological pregnancies” – out of fifty which will have to close this summer, according to a midwife. of the establishment that wishes to remain anonymous. Never before, according to her. “We will have to redirect patients to other maternities, she worries. We cannot recruit enough replacements, we have already shortened our vacations and taken each of the extra shifts… but there are still not enough of us. “

While there is no figure yet to assess the extent of the difficulties in Ile-de-France establishments, which already suffer from chronic understaffing, “An investigation is underway to objectify the situation (lack of applications, closure of consultations, etc.)”, we told the regional health agency Ile-de-France.

“There are no candidates this summer”, affirms Alexandra Benachi. Between the too low pay levels, the exhausting working conditions with day and night guards and the lack of recognition of the profession, “Newly graduated midwives do not want to take over at the hospital”, according to the doctor, who sees them opt for the installation in liberal, or even change specialty.

” Point of no return “

In hospitals that have been able to keep their beds open, there are already fears of repercussions. “Our schedules are only hanging by a thread this year, describes a midwife from a Parisian maternity hospital who wishes to remain anonymous. We inevitably fear the influx of additional patients sent back by other establishments… ”

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