“SOS international pour la santé, let’s defend equal access to quality care” : several hundred caregivers and hospital employees demonstrated on Saturday, May 29 in Paris, as part of a protest movement carried out simultaneously in ten countries, as a journalist from Agence France observed -Hurry.
The participants, who brandished slogans such as“Public hospital in vital emergency”, “White coat, black anger”, or “Sacrificed patients, disgusted caregivers”, gathered in front of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital, before everyone set off in the direction of the Town Hall.
With the pandemic, “We are all exhausted, but what is terrible is that, despite the Covid, hospitals are still terribly lacking in resources”, underlined Doctor Sophie Crozier, one of the spokespersons of the organizing collective.
More than sixty organizations in ten countries
For the Dr Crozier, the recent salary increases granted by the government, “It’s good, but it’s a bandage on a long gaping wound”. “Many caregivers are resigning, the beds are closing due to a lack of personnel, and we are no longer able to take care of the patients properly”, she thus analyzed.
Similar events were planned for Saturday in other French cities – Marseille, Rennes and Saint-Denis de La Réunion in particular -, but also abroad (in Brussels, Milan, or even Barcelona). In total, more than sixty collectives, associations and unions, in ten different countries, called for demonstrations in order to defend the “Health services and equal access to quality care for all”.
“Public policies of budgetary austerity are at work everywhere”, had denounced before the day of action Chérine Benzouid, of the Inter-hospital Collective. “Unsurprisingly, the same causes have produced the same effects in our various countries: a deterioration in access, quality and safety of care, a loss of meaning in the professions”, she added.
In France, the appeal is made by the Inter-hospital Collective, as well as by the Inter-bloc Collective, Inter-emergencies and SUD-Santé Social et solidaires. The organizers in particular demand that more funds be invested “In material and human resources”, and “Political decisions preserve social security systems and guarantee solid, lasting public funding adapted to needs”.
Demonstration in Saint-Ouen against the Greater Paris-North
About a hundred people (caregivers, activists, residents) lay down on the asphalt in Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis) to oppose the future Grand Paris-Nord hospital, a “Socially and ecologically aberrant project” which according to his opponents would lead to the elimination of more than 300 beds.
With a capacity of 900 beds, the future Grand Paris-Nord university hospital campus will replace the current Bichat hospitals in Paris and Beaujon in Clichy (Hauts-de-Seine) by 2028. Supported by the AP-HP (Assistance publique-Hôpitaux de Paris) and the University of Paris, at an estimated cost of 1.3 billion euros, the project must be located on the site of the former PSA factory, on an area of 7.19 hectares.
It is in front of this site that the opponents gathered Saturday at the end of the morning, in order to lie down in the street for a in the. This action was intended to materialize the hospital beds which according to them will be removed as part of the Grand Paris-Nord project, recently pinned by the Environmental Authority, moreover.
Olivier Milleron, cardiologist at Beaujon hospital and member of the Inter-hospital Collective, estimated that the construction of the huge hospital in question, resulting in the removal of the two existing hospitals “In an area already lacking in care”, “Would end up endangering the population”. He recalled that, “Already today, one in two patients who arrive[ait] in the emergency room in Beaujon [était] transferred ‘ to another hospital, for lack of a bed available.