in Reims, a bus transporting patients ordered to turn around

Hall of admissions regional university hospital center (CHRU) of Tours (Indre-et-Loire) on March 31. GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP

History illustrates the difficulties of coordination that there can be between State, regions and administrations in this unprecedented health crisis. Tuesday, March 31, around 10 am, a bus from the bus company Schidler, fitted out for medical transport, leaves from the Reims University Hospital. On board, eight patients with Covid-19 and considered in “pre-resuscitation”, as well as three doctors. They are on their way to the hospital in Tours, which has agreed to take charge of them to relieve the hospitals in Reims, saturated like many other establishments in the Grand-Est region. A transfer announced the day before by the Reims University Hospital in a press release.

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A few days earlier, on March 27, another bus had already traveled to Orleans to transport six other patients. But, if this first transport went without problem, it is not the case of the second: after an hour and a half of driving, the driver receives a call from the Reims University Hospital, ordering him to turn around .

“When the responsiveness of field health professionals comes up against the Parisian bureaucracy. Just ashamed! », CGT section of Reims University Hospital

On board the bus, it is astonishment. Also in Tours and Reims. And since then, anger has not subsided. Louis Bernard, head of the infectious diseases department at Tours hospital, explained his misunderstanding during a press conference call: “We had all agreed, the general direction of the CHU and us, doctors, to welcome these patients from Reims, who were in the corridor of their hospital. ”

“When the responsiveness of field health professionals comes up against the Parisian bureaucracy. Just ashamed! “, reacted, on Facebook, the CGT section of the Reims University Hospital. “It is incomprehensible to force the return of a Covid bus of eight patients who required a lot of work from overworked teams when the Reims teaching hospital and the region are lacking sheave beds”, denounces Professor Stéphane Larré, urologist at the Reims University Hospital.

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Who ordered this U-turn? Contacted by The world, the Grand-Est Regional Health Agency admits a “Couac”, damaging both for patients and for the image of disorganization. In a statement, she explained Wednesday 1er April that the patients transported were not given priority. “It is the resuscitation services that are the most in tension at the moment, so we favor transfers of patients in resuscitation”, said Christophe Lannelongue, agency director.

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